Special road toll on trucks likely

 
The State government is contemplating levying a special road toll on trucks laden with the four items and will channel the collected funds for the maintenance of roads across Karnataka. The trucks carrying minerals have been blamed for wreaking havoc on the State’s transportation system by eroding roads, especially the stretches linking Bellary and the surrounding mine-rich areas to the Mangalore and Karwar ports.

According to official sources, the government is planning to levy a toll ranging between Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per truck depending on the type of the material as well quantity.

Facing criticism for the poor condition of roads in the State, the Public Works Department, last year proposed collecting toll from iron-ore-laden trucks that use the state roads to reach ports. According to official estimates, the damage caused to roads by iron-ore-laden trucks is around Rs 1,400 crore per annum.

The State cabinet on Tuesday is learnt to have decided to constitute a committee consisting of officials of the Public Works Department to conduct a survey of the stretches frequently used by such trucks.

Tuesday’s cabinet decision comes close on the heels of the government’s move to levy ‘environment protection fee’ at the rate of Rs 84,000 per hectare on companies mining and quarrying on non-forest, revenue and patta land in the State.

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