India resumes toll collection on national highways

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The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has resumed toll collection on national highways after the Indian government decided to relax some restrictions placed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Toll collection in India restarted nearly a month after it was temporarily suspended to expedite the transportation of emergency goods and services.

According to a PTI report, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways asked the NHAI to resume toll collection through an official communication last week.

India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways asked the NHAI to resume toll collection through an official communication last week

In the letter to the NHAI, the ministry was quoted by the news agency as saying: “In view of the relaxations provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the inter state and intra state movement of all trucks and other goods / carrier vehicles… the NHAI should take actions necessary for compliance of the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs… and tolling operations be resumed w.e.f. 20 April 2020.”

However, transporter body All India Motor Transport Congress, which represents around 9.5 million truckers and transport entities, opposed the move.

India is currently under a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19.

The national lockdown was first imposed on 25 March for 21 days. It was then extended to 3 May.

As of 20 April, the coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 550 lives in India.

The number of confirmed cases has also increased to 17,600.

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