Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Balochistan to collect highway toll

Web posted at: 4/27/2010 4:22:27
Source ::: AGENCIES
QUETTA: Pakistan’s National Highway Authority (NHA) has decided to introduce a road toll collection regime in Balochistan province and to make all its toll collection centres in the province operational.

Official sources said yesterday that for this purpose, bids have been invited for 102 toll collection centres which will be auctioned in a transparent manner. The roadside tax collection centres will be run by local contractors. A decision to this effect was made at a recent meeting of the authority’s executive board.

About 37 per cent of the road network controlled by the NHA is located in Balochistan. There are 102 toll centres, but all of them are non-functional. The NHA does not get any revenue in the form of toll from the province because people there are not used to paying road taxes. Notwithstanding this, maintenance of the road network is being done on a regular basis.

NHA Chairman Altaf Ahmad told the meeting that the operation and management of toll centres in Balochistan would be awarded to local contractors keeping in view cultural constraints and peculiar law and order situation in the province.

The bidding rates were deliberately kept low in order to attract local contractors, he said. “Though the bids are low, our purpose should be to introduce a toll regime in Balochistan to get revenue,” he added.

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