New Delhi : The government on Thursday extended the suspension of fee collection at all toll plazas on National Highways till December 2 and allowed the payment of toll fees in old Rs 500 currency note from December 3 to 15.
The Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari tweeted: “Toll suspension is extended till 2nd December midnight across all national highways.”
However, earlier in the day Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilisers Mansukh Mandaviya had tweeted that toll suspension has only been extended till December 1 midnight.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Finance in a statement said that: “Considering that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have continued the toll free arrangement at the toll plazas up to 2.12.2016, it has been decided that toll payment at these toll plazas may be made through old Rs. 500 notes from 3.12.2016 to 15.12.2016.”
In a separate tweet, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) said that: “Commuters can also pay toll by RFID FASTag and avail 10 per cent discount on toll amount.”
“Swipe/POS machines will be installed on toll plazas with the help of banks for payment of toll.”
The government had suspended fee collection at all toll plazas on National Highways till the midnight of November 11. This was subsequently extended thrice — and the last extension was to end on the midnight of November 24.
The Ministry had previously said that instructions for the suspension of fee collection had been issued to all the concessionaires, including BOT (build-operate-transfer), OMT (operate-maintain-transfer) operators and other fee collection agencies.
The decision has been taken to avoid any inconvenience to highway users following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
On November 22, the government had also extended the suspension of vehicle parking charges at all airports till the midnight of November 28.
Even, the Indian Railways have waived off service charges for ‘e-tickets’ and ‘i-tickets’ booked through Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) till December 31.