A great chunk of maintenance costs of the extensive road network we have, is supposed to come out of the fees collected at toll booths all across the nation. The other chunk of the money collected is used to recover the cost to build that particular stretch of road. All of us pay tolls on a regular if not daily basis, yet we do not know too much about them. Here are some facts about the humble toll booth, which you may have not known before.
Toll can be collected even before the road is completed
There are some cases, where a road user is expected to pay toll even before the road has been built completely. The user fee is levied and collected as per applicable fee rules and provisions of the concession agreement. If the road is 75% built, the concessionaire can collect a fee for 75% of the road that has been built. However, the concessionaire has to charge a fee for the open patch of the road only, not any more.
Toll can be charged even after the recovery of costs
As mentioned above, the toll is, in many cases, charged to recover the cost of building that particular stretch of road. However, we often see the toll is charged for many more years, even after the recovery of the funds. Legally speaking, a concessionaire has the right to collect user fee until the completion of the concession period allowed under the agreement. The collected money is supposed to be used for the maintenance of the road.
Everything is monitored
Apart from taking pictures of vehicles entering and leaving a toll plaza, each toll booth too has a CCTV camera recording the happenings. This is done for two main reasons, the first being the safety of the booth operator and the second to make sure that money is not stolen. Moreover, a number of sensors too are present, making sure the operator selects the right class of a vehicle and collects the correct fee.
No exemption for Government Officers
As per 03.12.2010 Notification of the Government, the exemption is available only for NHAI or any other Government Organization using such vehicles for inspection, survey, construction or operation of National Highways and the maintenance thereof. Apart from that, no other officer, from both the central or even state governments.
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List of exempted vehicles varies
Not all roads have a common list for vehicles that are exempted from the toll charge. List of exempted vehicles is different as exemptions have been granted under different rules prevailing at the time of construction of the road. This leads to quite some changes in every toll plaza in various parts of the country.