Across India, officials at the ministry of road transport have begun to shut down unviable toll projects, albeit only in cases where the costs had been or were about to be recovered. According to roads Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari, waiting times at toll gates costs the Indian economy between two and three per cent of GDP a year. The Minister told a recent gathering of business leaders that the introduction of e-tolling would help reduce this figure, adding that making transport easier for travellers was a government priority. To date, officials have identified 74 publically funded projects with a value over Rs1bn (€14m) deemed unviable, 61 of which have been shot down. PPP projects and toll plazas of less than Rs1bn are also being identified and ways being explored to shut these down subject to contractual obligations. In an unrelated development, the government of the state of Maharashtra has scrapped road tolls for cars, SUVs and taxis in favour of a charge on goods carriers.
Article taken from the April 2015 issue of RUC Magazine