When it comes to the construction of roads, a lot of resources like land and money is required, and one way the government covers up for the expenses is by establishing toll gates in different parts of the country. However, not many approve of the toll system and during a discussion in Lok Sabha some members expressed concerns, which in turn lead to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari saying that if people expect good service then they will have to pay for it as the government does not have enough funds.
Gadkari, who is Minister for Road Transport and Highways, made the statement on Tuesday during a discussion about the demand of grants for his ministry. During the discussion, he also said that the money collected as toll from areas that have the capacity to pay is in turn utilised to build roads in rural and hilly areas.
“Toll zindagi bar band nahi ho sakta… kam zyaada ho sakta hai. Toll ka jaanamdata mein hoon… (Toll system can never end though the rates may vary from time to time. Toll is my brainchild). If you want good services, you have to pay for it. Government does not have money,” Gadkari said while also revealing that the government has built 40,000 kilometres of highway in the last five years.
Underlining that land acquisition is a major problem in road construction projects, Gadkari said state governments should come out with solutions to help find a way out. He said his ministry will not move forward with a project if 80 per cent of land acquisition is not there and this principle is being followed very strictly.
Rejecting the charge from members of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu that their states are being over-looked, Gadkari said he makes no distinction between states, and that land acquisition is the biggest hurdle in road projects in West Bengal.
Gadkari also informed the House that the ministry is working on a new green expressway from New Delhi to Mumbai, which can be covered in 12 hours. It will pass through most backward and tribal areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra and also save Rs 16,000 crore in land acquisition.
With Inputs From PTI