Rajasthan to make toll free highways

Rajasthan to make toll free highways

The Rajasthan government passed a new bill on Saturday which aims to construct modernised highways in the state and make toll-free all the highways constructed by it.

The provisions in Rajasthan State Highways Bill, 2014 include construction of East-West corridor comprising 20,000 km road and developing industrial clusters along the corridor.

“In the next one month, we will constitute State Highway Authority of Rajasthan. Our sole objective is to build international standard roads and become a pioneer in the country,” said Public Works Department Minister Yunus Khan.

He said that for the first time in country, Rajasthan is coming up with a toll policy according to which no toll will be levied on the highways constructed by the state government.

“We have seen that the toll is being charged on many highways since last several years. The amount received through toll has already exceeded the total cost of the project. At many places, people are forced to pay toll and highways are in dire state. Even the Rajasthan High Court has taken cognizance of this in several cases,” said Yunus Khan.
The new toll policy will end all such irregularities, he added.

“Most of the roads and highways will now be constructed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode, which will reduce financial burden on state government and State Highway Authority of Rajasthan will also raise market borrowings,” Khan said.

Senior PWD officials said the bill contains several provisions that will ensure safety on accident-prone roads. The act provides stringent penalties up to Rs 1 lakh and 10-year imprisonment to curb drunken driving, over-loading, over-speeding and other offences that lead to accidents.

It also contains a provision that no construction of any sort will be allowed within 25 metres on either sides of road boundary. A control zone comprising a strip of 100 metres width along the road will also be constructed, on the lines of international highways.

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