New Delhi: National Highway 44 (NH-44) brings a toll tax of about Rs 300 while traveling from Delhi to Chandigarh, but the toll tax has not been collected for the last eight months due to the farmers' agitation. In such a situation, the revenue deficit for the central government is continuously increasing. A senior central government official said that the government has suffered a loss of Rs 2,000 crore due to non-paying of toll tax.
In Punjab and Haryana, 50 toll plazas have been closed for six to eight months. There is a loss of more than Five crore rupees every day. The central official said this is probably the longest period of such a large number of toll plazas being closed at once. Farmers protesting against agricultural laws say they are not hurting people. People are grateful to us for saving the cost of paying the toll when the fuel prices are more than Rs. 100. None of the public is complaining. They say that they are bothering the government. The Centre has not approved the demands of farmers for eight months.
In March, Union Road and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Parliament that the closure of toll plazas in Punjab till March 16 has resulted in a loss of Rs 487 crore in revenue and Rs 326 crore in Haryana. On July 2, NHAI told toll operators to claim relief due to the closure of toll plazas, as farmer protests would be treated as a "major phenomenon of indirect political force" that prevents them from depositing toll charges.