Money matters: Tata-Kandra road. Picture by Animesh Sengupta
State road construction department’s plans to start toll collection on Tata-Kandra road have stumbled on a question: whether to charge privately owned four-wheelers or not.
Executive engineer of the department Sanjay Kumar Singh told The Telegraph that toll collection on the newly built four-lane thoroughfare was expected to start from April.
“Two-wheelers will be exempted from toll tax, but we are yet to decide on whether privately owned four-wheelers would be charged. The department is mulling the issue. Once we reach a resolution, we will take steps to start toll collection,” said Singh.
He added that toll collection would be entirely monitored by road construction department.
“Construction agency Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited was supposed to build the four-lane road and maintain it, but toll collection will be under our jurisdiction,” Singh said.
He revealed that they would soon float a tender to choose an agency for toll collections. and added that the highest bidder would get the contract.
When asked about the toll rates, Singh replied that they would be fixed only after a decision on privately owned four wheelers was taken.
Adityapur resident and councillor of local municipal body Suresh Kumar Chowdhury said privately owned vehicles should be exempted from toll.
“People residing at Adityapur, Gamharia and neighbouring areas have been using Tata-Kandra Road for decades without paying a rupee. Why should they pay toll now? The state should charge toll tax from commercial vehicles,” he said.
Meanwhile, sources from Jharkhand Accelerated Road Development Company Limited said construction of service lane was pending at some points owing to encroachment problems.
“Encroachment still poses a hurdle in construction of service lanes on either side of Tata-Kandra Road, but we are confident that remaining work would be completed by the end of this financial year,” said Amit Garg, senior manager of the agency.
Garg added that they had already set up toll plazas at the Kandra end of the road. “Once we get a go-ahead from the road construction department, we will fix machines and close-circuit TV cameras at the toll-plazas,” he said.