Mangaluru, July 21,2017: The wait at a toll booth when it exceeds three minutes, is reason for you to drive right through without paying.
In what must come as music to the ears of lakhs of hassled commuters across the country, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) stated to an RTI applicant that there was a provision for free passage if the waiting time at a toll booth was more than three minutes. The RTI query was filed by advocate Hariom Jindal from Ludhiana. "I filed the RTI as I experienced long delays in paying toll while travelling on NH1 between Ludhiana and Delhi and also between Chandigarh and Ambala at different places and on various occasions,"Jindal is reported to have told media over the phone. "I get frustrated and I used to argue with the staff, but they never gave me a proper reply to redress my grievance of endless waits. If a person is made to wait before the toll plaza for an hour or 30 minutes, the very purpose of having such tolled roads is defeated. I thought I should do something about it and filed an RTI."
"Based on that provision, I used to record a video during such waits, show the video and the RTI reply to toll booth personnel and they allowed me to pass without paying toll." Jindal received the reply in August last year but put it out on social media recently to inform others .
Chief general manager of NHAI-Karnataka said it was up to the ministry to reply. Rajeev Reddy, former chief gener al manager of NHAI-Karnataka said: "As per NHAI rules, we should not collect toll from a vehicle which has been waiting in queue at a toll plaza for more than three minutes. But in cities like Bengaluru, we do not get enough land to have more toll booths at any toll plaza, so the queues are more than three minutes. But we are unable to follow the rule. The concessionaire charges toll from all vehicles which have waited for more than three minutes because if it does not, it will be a loss to the government.
The Brahmarakootlu toll booth on NH75 near BC Road is plagued by delays since there are only two lanes on the busy Mangaluru-Bengaluru highway but the three-minute toll rule would not apply, NHAI said."The inconvenience is due to land acquisition problems. We will soon acquire land to make provision for another lane. That rule does not apply due to insufficient number of lanes," NHAI project director is reported to have said