You must have read the news about having to pay toll tax if your waiting time exceeds 3 minutes. Well, if this is true, it is something to rejoice about. However, the news is not true. The National Highways Authority of India has made it clear by issuing a statement which states that no such rule which allows exemption from paying toll charges because of time taken exists. The clarification states that “there is no specific exemption applicable relating to either time taken or distance of queuing of vehicles at Plaza, as part of transaction. As such, it is clarified that there is no provision of exemption to User Fee in case time taken for crossing the plaza is more than 3 minutes”.
“Ministry of Road Transport and Highways vide National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Amendment Rules 2010 dated 03.12.2010 has notified the list of vehicles exempted from payment of User Fee,” the NHAI said. The statement has also been posted on the NHAI website as well. There is a false news that has been spread that one does not has to pay toll taxes if the waiting time is more than three minutes. This happened because an RTI applicant in a Facebook post shared that there is no need to pay toll taxes if your waiting time exceeds 3 minutes.
An advocate from Haryana, Hariom Jindal had questioned the NHAI in his RTI that in case the “total waiting time including the time spent in the queue surpases 30 seconds, which means delay and harassment suffered by the computers, what are the provisions for compensation to be paid by your office to the commuter?” . The reply to the RTI application of August 29, 2016 says, “There is a total waiting time of 3 minutes, if the 3 minutes exceeds in waiting, then there is a provision to pass the vehicle free of cost.”
Seeing the reply, one would rightfully assume that there is an exemption over toll tax if the waiting time exceeds 3 minutes. Rajeev Reddy, former chief general manager of NHAI-Karnataka as said, “As per NHAI rules, we should not collect toll from a vehicle which has been waiting in queue at a toll plaza for more than three minutes”. This statement from an NHAI official has definitely created confusion. Now, the NHAI has cleared, there is no such rule in place
RTI is India’s most trusted source of information. Such, flip flops by the NHAI are bound to create confusion. However, now it is clear that there is no such rule which exempts people from paying toll taxes if the waiting time is more than three minutes.