Govt sticks to decision on highway toll, says Quader
Published : Thursday, 12 September, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 749
The government has initiated the process of imposing toll on highways users following Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's advice, said Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
The Prime Minister on September 3 advised the agencies concerned to impose toll on all national highways.
"The government is firm on the decision. The Prime Minister herself has announced it," Quader told reporters as they asked if the government was adamant on the issue at the Secretariat on Wednesday.
"Almost all countries in the world have a tolling system, especially for four-lane, six-lane and eight-lane highways. Why will Bangladesh be an exception?"
"The highways need to be maintained as they become potholed due to overload. They need to be mended," Quader said justifying the government's decision.
Quader was asked to comment on if there will be an adverse effect on the economy.
"You are travelling the same distance in three hours which you used to travel in eight hours earlier. How much time are you saving? I don't think anyone would suffer from it," he said.
Quader said the ministry and BRTA have begun the process of fixing "reasonable" toll to be collected from highway users.
"They are drafting a policy on the rules and toll amount. The ministry is working on it."
"We are focusing on introducing toll on the four-lane highways. At present there are four to five such highways," Quader said.
Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga expressway will be inaugurated soon. Dhaka-Elenga, Joydebpur-Elenga highway will be constructed soon. There will be another four-lane highway from Elenga to Rangpur.
"The BNP has never made any four-lane highway during its tenure and, therefore, has no idea about it," the minister said in response to the BNP's criticism of the decision.
The government is yet to decide on toll on the Padma Bridge, the minister said.