The private vehicle owners of Madhya Pradesh have received a sigh of relief and blessing, as the Madhya Pradesh State Government has decided to demolish the rule of toll tax collections from private vehicle owners. The State Government, currently helmed by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, has decided to exempt private vehicle owners from paying toll taxes to reduce the situation of heavy traffic jams frequently occurring at toll plazas in Madhya Pradesh.
Under this new rule introduced by Madhya Pradesh State Government, all the new and old roads falling under the State Road Development Corporation are included, where private vehicle owners will not have to pay toll taxes anymore. As confirmed by Neeraj Mandloi, the Principal Secretary of the State Transport, the proposal for this new rule has been sent to the cabinet for final approval.
200 roads surveyed
Before making this decision, the Public Works Department surveyed around 200 roads in the state. This survey revealed that around 80 per cent of the toll amount is collected from commercial vehicles and the remaining 20 per cent from private vehicles. However, the number of private vehicles lined up for paying toll amounts at toll plazas is much more than those of commercial vehicles, which frequently causes traffic jams and congestion for commercial vehicles. As a result, the state government decided to exempt private vehicles from paying taxes to avoid congestion at toll plazas.
All the 200 roads taken under survey by Public Works Department were constructed by the State Road Development Corporation with the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) method. Under this method, a private company is assigned the job of maintenance and development for a fixed duration decided by the state government.
From now onwards, only commercial vehicles will have to pay toll taxes in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from private vehicle owners, the vehicles of VIPs, including the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Ministers and Members of Parliament, are already exempted from this rule. In addition to these VIPS, judges, magistrates, central government secretaries, authorities of National Highway Authorities of India, police, fire brigades, ambulances and defence vehicles are also kept away from paying taxes at toll plazas.
GPS-based toll collection system to arrive soon
Under the GPS-based toll collection system, the customers will pay the toll according to the distance travelled on the highway. The new laws will charge tolls on a pro-rata basis. This means the more you use the highways, the higher amount of toll you will need to pay. Currently, the tolls are charged at the toll booths at a stepped price.
The system is already working in several European countries and it is quite successful as well. Due to the massive success, the Indian government is planning to implement a similar system on the Indian roads as well.
The GPS-based toll collection system starts recording the journey as soon as the car starts driving on the tolled road. It stops when the car exits. The user needs to pay the toll depending on the kilometres he has driven on the expressway.