Toll tax collection across Haryana, Punjab and Delhi NCR region has been suspended since December due to the ongoing farmers' protests. Due to this, the public-funded toll plazas at highways are facing an estimated loss of around ₹1.8 crore per day, the Centre informed Parliament on Thursday.
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"Due to farmers’ protest, some of the fee plazas are non-operational, thereby the NHAI is unable to collect user fee from the road users. In case of public funded fee plazas, an estimated remittance loss is approximately ₹1.8 crore per day," said Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari.
As per credit rating agency ICRA, the protest has already accounted to nearly ₹600 crore loss in toll collections in the region of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi-NCR. In a ICRA Ratings report issued in January 2021, around 52 toll plazas [includes both public funded and BOT (built, operate and transfer)] for national highways (NHs) operated in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi-NCR have been affected due to farmers’ protest.
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“The average toll collection per day at these plazas is estimated at ₹7 crore. Until January 26, 2021, these national highway toll plazas would have incurred an estimated revenue loss of around ₹560 crore out of which ₹410 crore is estimated for BOT Concessionaires. Out of the ₹9,300 crore of impacted rated debt, ₹8550 crore of debt is at a high risk of default while ₹750 crore is rated as investment grade with low to moderate risk of default. Some of these entities also have debt service reserves (DSRAs) of around three months in place to use for such exigencies; however, this would have been completely used up by now," said Rajeshwar Burla, Vice President, Corporate Ratings, ICRA.