DHAKA: Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the government is firm on its decision to collect toll from long-haul vehicles plying the national highways. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself earlier instructed authorities concerned to collect toll on highways.
“The money would be deposited into a bank account and spent for the maintenance and repair of the roads”, the Minister said this in response to a question from reporters at the Secretariat on Wednesday (September 11).
At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) recently, the Prime Minister said that like developed countries, toll will have to be colleted from long-haul vehicles plying Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Sylhet, Dhaka Rangpur and Dhaka-Mymensingh highways.”
“Not only that, a separate bank account has to be opened for depositing the tolls. With that money the highways can be renovated, she added.
Responding to a reporter's question on the issue, Minister Obaidul Quader said the process was on to impose toll on the four highways. The countries all over the world collect toll on highways. There will be four lanes, six lanes, eight lanes of highways. Toll is taken from those who use the road in all the countries of the world. Why Bangladesh will be the exception? The highways have to be repaired and renovated. Different highways are damaged for overload.
'The toll fee is in process. The ministry and the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) are working on the issue. We are trying to impose a reasonable fee. Initiatives are being taken in this regard, the ministry is working, ' Obaidul Quader added.
Responding to a question on the Padma Bridge toll, Kader said that no decision has been made on the Padma Bridge toll yet. Construction of the bridge is in progress. Our physical infrastructure will be completed by December next year. Then, Padma Bridge will be opened for traffic within three or four months.
BDST: 1647 HRS, SEP 11, 2019