Madras High Court Asks Why Collect Toll If Roads Aren’t Maintained
An auto-rickshaw drives through flooded potholes past a market in the suburb of Bandra in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Karen Dias/Bloomberg)  

Madras High Court Asks Why Collect Toll If Roads Aren’t Maintained

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The Madras High Court has asked the National Highways Authority of India why toll collection licence should not be cancelled if stretches of roads, coming under the jurisdiction of a toll gate, were not maintained properly.

Justices N Kirubakaran and SS Sundar of the Madurai bench were hearing a public interest litigation on Thursday seeking to cancel the licence of a toll plaza at Eliapathy because the highway stretch between Aruppukottai and Madurai had not been maintained and the road was full of potholes leading to accidents since 2011.

The responsibility for maintenance of the road had been given to a private contractor, who did not maintain the road, the petitioner submitted. In his plea, Mahalingam wanted the licence of the toll plaza to be suspended first and then cancelled.

Though several complaints were sent to the concessionaire, Madhucon, no action was taken. He submitted and sought the court’s intervention to cancel the licence.

The petitioner also alleged that goons were engaged in toll collection and said the highways authority was sleeping over his complaint. The High Court had in December last year ordered a 30 percent exemption from toll till the roads were repaired, he submitted.

The petitioner contended that even after the court order no action had been taken to repair the road. The bench pointed out the lapse on the part of the concessionaire and asked why toll collection licence should not be cancelled.

The bench further said several similar cases were pending before the court and posted the petition for hearing on mAR. 28.

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