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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

National Highways Builders Federation seeks compensation for deferment of toll hike

Election Commission of India (ECI) asked state-owned NHAI to defer toll revision on highways till the completion of the Lok Sabha elections. The toll on highways is revised from April 1 across the country

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 03.04.24, 11:55 AM
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The National Highways Builders Federation (NHBF) on Tuesday demanded that the concessionaires should be compensated for the loss of revenue on account of toll revision deferment following the imposition of a model code of conduct by the Election Commission. The NHBF is an umbrella body of highway developers organisation.

On Monday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) asked state-owned NHAI to defer toll revision on highways till the completion of the Lok Sabha elections. The toll on highways is revised from April 1 across the country.

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The order will impact both publicly funded highways and those operated by private concessionaires. The toll rates on expressways average Rs 2.19/ km for passenger cars. It is higher for commercial vehicles, heavy trucks and machinery.

The move will be welcomed by millions of motorists, truckers and commercial vehicle owners as it puts an extra burden on commuters and businesses who could see freight rates rise as a result.

However, the annual hike in road toll charges would have benefited highway operators such as IRB Infrastructure Developers and Ashok Buildcon Ltd.

“We are quite confident that the deferment of toll fee revision rate in view of the model code of conduct being in operation, will be suitably addressed by you (NHAI
chairman) by providing cash compensation to our members for loss of revenue so as to place them in the same financial position as it would have enjoyed had there been no such statutory orders,” NHBF director- general P.C. Grover said in a letter to the NHAI chairman.

Grover also sought clarification on whether the toll/fee rate revisions can be implemented by concessionaires based on the poll dates of the particular state in which the respective highways are situated or whether a common date would be announced by the NHAI for implementation of the revision.

The annual revision of toll hikes, which was expected to be in the range of an average of 5 per cent, was to come into effect on April 1 for most tolled highways and expressways stretches across the country.

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