No toll tax on national highways if returning within 12 hours? Claims debunked
A social media post attributing claims to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on toll taxes has been busted. The post, which went viral, claimed travels on national highways will not attract any toll tax if one returns within 12 hours. The social media post came at a time when Gadkari has promised to change the toll system on national highways. The Press Information Bureau recently debunked the claims, saying that the viral social media post is actually fake.
The social media post said, "You will not have to pay any toll tax on the return journey if you can return within 12 hours during your journey as per the order of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari." PIB called the post fake citing National Highways Fee Rules 2008.
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The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) collects toll fees at its plazas across the country according to the National Highways Fee Rules 2008. The toll tax on any particular stretch of National Highway is collected as per the notification issued by Centre's Official Gazette. The rules say that the fee collection is as per the 'provisions of the National Highways (collection of Fees by any person for the use of Section of National Highways /Permanent Bridge /Temporary Bridge on National Highways) Rules, 1997; and the National Highways (Rate of fee) Rules, 1997 and the respective contract agreement'.
Reports that people residing within 20 kms of a toll plaza will not have to pay toll taxes is also not true. The rules do not exempt anyone from paying toll fee. However, it allows one unlimited trips through a toll plaza against a monthly pass if the vehicle is personal and based within 20 kms from the toll plaza. It also comes with the condition that the there is no other alternative route for the vehicle to avoid the national highway.
Nitin Gadkari recently said that his ministry is months away from reforming the toll collection system across national highways. Gadkari told in Parliament that his ministry will remove all toll plazas from the country in the next six months. He said GPS system installed in a car or computerised number plates will be used in future for toll fee collection based on actual distance travelled on a National Highway.