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Protesters block traffic on Delhi-Jaipur highway, Punjab toll loss amounts to Rs 210 cr | India News


NEW DELHI: Vehicle movement on the Delhi-Jaipur highway was severely affected over the past two days in the Rajasthan part due to protests by farmers. Farmers’ agitation to stop collecting tolls and blocking roads has spread to parts of Rajasthan just weeks after the center urged the Punjab government to ensure toll operations on NH stretches resumed. “We are constantly monitoring the situation and we are coordinating with state government agencies for the proper functioning of the toll plazas. It is not only the loss of revenue from tolls, but also a great comfort that travelers face due to such roadblocks, ”said an NHAI official.
A senior executive at the company that operates the section of the Gurgaon-Jaipur highway said they barely had any income for two days and had no idea that normalcy was returning on the section. Protests or any similar factor that results in the forcible closure of toll plazas are treated as “force majeure” and in such cases the NHAI has to compensate the toll operators and therefore this becomes an additional burden for the highway authority.
In the case of Punjab, the daily loss of toll revenue is close to Rs 2.8 crore and farmer agitators have made all 25 toll plazas in NHs in the state free since October 2. The total loss of income so far is around Rs 210 crore.
In a recent letter to Punjab’s Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh, Highway Minister Nitin Gadkari had highlighted how the Center was doing its best to revive the economy and his ministry is planning and accelerating several new projects in the state. He noted that any additional loss of revenue due to the turmoil “will seriously affect” the new projects.
He also said that the obstructions caused by the dharnas to the operation of the squares constitute a “violation” of the state support agreement concluded between the NHAI and the government of Punjab.

Times of India