Toll system can never end just rates may vary from time to time: Gadkari

The union government on Tuesday made its intentions clear on future plans that toll tax is not going to end anytime soon.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari said that if people want good roads then they will have to pay for it, as the government can’t keep pumping funds on roads.

Replying to a discussion on demands for grants for the Road Transport and Highways ministry in the Lok Sabha, 

“Toll zindagi bhar band nahi ho sakta… kam zyaada ho saktha hai. Toll ka jaanamdata main hoon… (Toll system can never end though the rates may vary from time to time. Toll is my brain child,” Gadkari said. “If you want good services, you have to pay for it. Government does not have money…,” he stressed.

House members had raised concerns over the collection of toll in different parts of the country, Gadkari said the money collected through toll from those areas which have the capacity to pay is utilised for building roads in rural and hilly areas.

Underlining that land acquisition is a major problem in road construction projects, Gadkari urged that state governments should come out with solutions and help find a way out. 

Gadkari said land acquisition process is very slow in West Bengal and Bihar. He said the government built 40,000 kilometres of highway in the last five years.

Underlining success of his government he said that more than 400 projects worth 3.85 lakh crore were closed when he assumed charge of the ministry in 2014. 

Gadkari said the Modi government saved NPAs worth 3 lakh crore during the past five years by beginning work on these projects.

“There were 403 projects pending when the Narendra Modi government came to power involving a cost of Rs 3, 85,000 crore. 

Claiming it as a great achievement of the Indian government that we saved bankers of Rs 3 lakh crore of NPAs and now 90 per cent of projects are moving fast,” he said.

Gadkari also informed the House that the ministry is working on a new green expressway from New Delhi to Mumbai, which can be covered in 12 hours. 

It will pass through most backward and tribal areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra and also save Rs 16,000 crore in land acquisition.

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