Days after Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann flagged the issue of harassment of the common man at toll plazas, the Public Works Department (PWD) has sought a status report from its field staff on the implementation of the terms and conditions of agreements signed between the department and the state toll plazas operators.
At present, there are 16 toll barriers on roads managed by the state.
“The government wants to know whether the toll operators have violated the terms and condition of their respective agreements. A detailed performa has been given to the officers in charge,” a senior government functionary said.
With the toll plaza operators seeking compensation for the losses suffered during the Covid restrictions and farmer’s agitation, the state government is analysing the issue. Meanwhile, sources in the PWD said toll operators owed the state government over Rs 200 crore.
The action comes days after the government decided to act against the serving and retired technocrats for allegedly not ensuring carpeting of roads by toll plaza operators under the build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis, giving financial benefit to the operators.
As per the agreements, the operators have to repair and carpet the roads regularly.
Officials said the terms of at least three toll plazas — Patiala-Samana-Patra, Hoshairpur-Tanda and the high-level bridge at Makhu — are ending next month.
In September, the Chief Minister, while announcing the closure of two toll plazas on the Sangrur-Ludhiana road, had pointed out that the toll plaza charges burnt a hole in the common man’s pocket.