Nitin Gadkari::Forget Tall promises and look at Toll rates. Beware- Mafia at work on Indian toll roads. Barriers to real Indian democracy- 1


Nitin Gadkari::Forget Tall promises and look at Toll rates. Beware- Mafia at work on Indian toll roads. Barriers to real Indian democracy- 1.

Recently I travelled all the way from New Delhi to Burhanpur a bustling town in Madhya Pradesh via Jaipur, Chittor, Ratlam, Indore in my own vehicle. I must have paid more than 2000 Rs in toll collection booth. The highest of Rs 120 paid at Neemrana to Pink city developers and lowest Rs 20 at some other places mainly in MP. The more the toll, the heavy the numbers of goons employed.

Sir we are the customers who pay toll and expect good polite behaviour at the tolls and not to be roughened up at the slightest provocation. i am witness to seeing a family in Maruti 800 mis handled by toll agents with the poor kid and wife begging for life.

Like the VIPs, I could have got a pass or skipped the tolls through my connections but I paid all through my pockets. However before that a word on the toll fee is essential

Tolls are very heavy in Haryana and Rajasthan. The rates keeps increasing every year. The Neemrana toll was collecting Rs 70 just a few years back n now has climbed to Rs 120. It is situated just before Neemrana , so even if you are going to visit Neemrana fort or one of the university or industry unit based in Neemrana you will have to pay full toll. There are multiple tolls at small distances.

May I ask the honourable minister is this fair and reasonable ? Will the Indian public be always kept looted, perpetually starting from Mughals and the Britishers and now in independent India by its politicians and bureaucrats.

Will we the people and common man of the country be independent ever or will we be slaves who so ever rules the country. ?

We strongly believe that until toll booths are abolished / rationalised in the country the citizens will not be able to see ‘ Acche Din’ as declared by honourable Prime minister. For the Indian ‘Aam Aadmi’ travels on these roads. Millions of trucks ply carrying goods and other essentials. Buses are running day and nights for the poor. But the prices keep increasing due to these toll fees and the queues and corruption at check posts. Are the Polls made to facilitate services to the people or to the builders.

I must say the railways are doing much better to facilitate services for its passengers and sh Nitin Gadkari ji must take a cue from his colleague and minister sh Suresh Prabhu ji.

Unlike the VIPs and the ministers for whom there are special lanes and no fees the ‘Aam Aadmi’ stands in long queues, pays hefty fees, on slight provocation has to take the goons employed by booth collection office.

Sir, what sort of system have you made or you want to make for the country ?
Can you justify the toll fees, their locations and increasing rates by the road and toll builders.

Sir, Do you think that a man travelling with family for more than 1000 kms, pays at every 30-40 kms standing in long queues will ever enjoy the journey? Its a nightmare for sure and to be precise.

Sir have you ever travelled in your own car driving and paying tolls. I guess not. For anyone who must have experienced this road cruelty and mafia’s will never allow or do it to fellow citizens.

In fact one of the reasons for the many accidents that happen on the highways is due to toll booths. Lot of time is wasted for paying tolls, as a result driver tends and tries to compensate the lost time by driving at higher speed.

We also witnesses utter chaos on NH8 due to the PM rally in Gurgaon. Roads were blocked by the police a good 100 kms before near Bawal in Haryana.

There were hundreds of families trapped amid trucks and their drivers who looked ready to bounce on an opportunity to loot and what not. It was an eerie feeling that i realised with my young daughter and wife with me in the car.

Is this the way we are trying to bring a change in the country in the twenty first century and make India grow and develop. I am sorry to say that until the toll booths are removed or the fees justified there will be no freedom for the poor citizens of the country who are made to suffer at the cost of nexus between builders, politicians and bureaucrats.

If the honourable minister of surface transport wants to make real changes in the ministry and the system he must start with the menace of road tolls rather than making big lofty declarations.

Unless and until things are made for the people, we the citizens of the country will be left to exploitation and sufferings at the hands of the powerful gangs of the country.

The government must review the whole process, abolish or rationalise the system, use modern technology and if required subsidise the cost to the Hapless travellers on the road. Else it all reminds of barbarism and exploitation of the poor.

Note: In this series we shall highlight the barriers and hurdles to real Indian democracy highlighting cases and services where Indian people are still taken for a ride.

Asheesh Shah
Author: Asheesh Shah

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