AP govt to levy Road fee to mop up Rs 100 cr in first phase

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Amaravati, Nov 20 (PTI) The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to levy Road Fee to earn a revenue of about Rs 100 crore in the first step, following the Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra models.

Transport, Roads and Buildings Department Principal Secretary M T Krishna Babu issued an official order late on Thursday night to this effect.

The AP State Road Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2020 enables collection of fees (toll) from any person for using section of Andhra Pradesh State Roads, permanent bridges, temporary bridges, bypasses and tunnels on state roads.

The fee shall be collected in perpetuity by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, the order said.

With 2019-20 as the base year, the government fixed 90 paise per kilometer for cars, jeeps, vans or light motor vehicles, Rs 1.80 for light commercial vehicles, light goods vehicles or mini buses, Rs 3.55 for buses or trucks (two axles) and Rs 8.90 per km for heavy construction machinery or earth-moving equipment and multi-axle vehicles.

A two-lane road with paved shoulders is the benchmark for levying toll.

Government sources said 11 roads have been identified in the first phase for imposition of toll.

So far, the state government has been collecting toll on a couple of roads developed in the Build-Operate-Transfer mode but now it has been extended to all roads, including those developed in the public-private partnership mode, the sources said.

We will begin with the Kadapa-Pulivendula road, which is in Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddys home constituency.

Toll collection on the other 10 roads will start subsequently after tenders are finalized, the sources said.

With the state government not granting any money for road works, the AP Road Development Corporation is forced to borrow funds from external sources.

Though the government recently levied a Road Development Cess, at the rate of Re 1 per litre of petrol and diesel, the amount is yet to accrue to the corporation account.

It is expected that Rs 600 crore will be generated per annum through the Road Development Cess but we are yet to get any money, a senior RDC official said.

Escrowing the expected toll fee of Rs 100 crore, the RDC is planning to raise a loan of Rs 1,000 crore this year to take up development of another 18 roads.

We require at least Rs 1,200 crore to develop these 18 roads. We will take up the works using the borrowed money and then recoup it through toll, the official added. PTI DBV VS VS