Himachal HC puts interim stay on collection of toll at Sanwara toll plaza

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Shimla, Jun 1 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday ordered an interim stay on the collection of toll at Sanwara in Solan district.

A division bench of Chief Justice L Narayana Swamy and Justice Anoop Chitkara issued the direction while hearing a public interest litigation which contended that the toll was being levied in violation of rules.

Staying the collection of toll till the next date of hearing on June 2, the division bench issued notices to the central and state governments and the Chairman and the Project Director of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Petitioner Adit Singal contended that the establishment of the toll plaza at Sanwara is illegal and contrary to the National Highway Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008.

The petitioner stated that according to rules, a toll plaza cannot be established within 60 km of another in the same section of a highway, and that there are two -- Chandi Mandir in Haryana's Panchkula district and Parwanoo in Solan district -- within the prescribed limit of Sanwara toll plaza.

He also alleged that the certificate stating completion of 95 per cent work on the highway was wrongly and arbitrarily issued by NHAI.

The petitioner stated that the toll is being levied before completion of the work.

The public is compelled to pay toll for incomplete facilities that too at exorbitant rates, he added. He further alleged that the toll road has not been maintained properly and a part of the stretch is accident prone as there is no proper barricading of the roads connecting the toll road from the towns and villages along the national highway.

The petitioner also sought quashing of the contract, construction, completion certificate issued to the executing company by NHAI. PTI DJI SMN SMN

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