The Government on Monday said no toll would be charged on national highways till the midnight of November 18, further extending relief to commuters in the wake of demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.
A government official said the decision has been taken to ensure smooth traffic movement across all National Highways and provide relief to cash-starved people who are queueing up outside banks and ATMs after Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were demonetised, according to PTI. Instructions have been issued to all concessionaires, including BOT, OMT operators and other fee collection agencies, about the extension of toll suspension date.
A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to tackle corruption and black money, the government had decided to accept such withdrawn notes at toll plazas till November 11 midnight but that led to chaos in the absence of adequate change, causing massive traffic jams.
Earlier, authorities had extended the free-passage through toll gates across all National Highways till November 14. On November 9, the government had announced suspension of toll collection on national highways till November 11 midnight.
“We reviewed the situation and decided to suspend the collection of fees,” the minister had said earlier. When asked about the loss due to non-collection of toll fee, Gadkari had said that the government will bear it.
Security has been beefed up at banks and near ATMs as tempers ran high among the dozens who waited many hours to withdraw money. However, due to the rush, many ATMs ran out of cash, leaving dozens of others without money.
In Delhi, as many as 3,400 paramilitary and Delhi Police personnel were deployed with 200 quick reaction teams to handle anxious crowds swamping banks, post offices and ATMs.