Chennai, Apr 1 (IANS): The Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) has urged the Union government to roll back the hike in toll charges. PMK President and former Union minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, said that the charges have been hiked at 29 toll plazas in Tamil Nadu and that this was not acceptable.
In a statement on Saturday, Anbumani Ramadoss, who is also the Rajya Sabha MP, said, "It is unacceptable to hike toll rates without improving national highways. The hike is condemnable."
He said that with the hike in toll prices from April 1, vehicles will have to pay Rs 1.51 per km extra and that this would lead to increase in prices of essential commodities.
Ramadoss said that Tamil Nadu had more than 10 per cent of toll plazas in the country and added that of the 6606 km of national highways, toll charges are collected for 5134 km in the state. The PMK leader said that this works to around 77 per cent and was almost four times higher than the national average of 20 per cent.
The former Union minister also recalled a statement by Union Minister for Highways Nitin Gadkari who said that toll plazas would be rationalised to have one plaza for every 60 kilometers.
He said that Gadkari had promised to reduce the rates at nine toll plazas in Tamil Nadu by 40 per cent of the existing charges. He called upon the central government to roll back the increased hike rates of toll plazas that have come into effect from April 1.