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Motorists angry as NHA raises toll fee on highways

ISLAMABAD: The National Highway Authority (NHA) has  increased toll tax on national highways and motorways for different categories of the vehicles.
Citing inflation in the country as the main reason behind increase in toll rate,an official of NHA said Wednesday that the costs of construction and road materials have gone up several times which has resulted in hike in maintenance expenditure.
He said that the NHA has increased toll rates after three year period  as the authority needed more finances for the maintenance of the motorways and highways.
He said that increase in toll tax has been made in accordance with the pressure of vehicles. The heavy vehicles damage roads and they will have to pay the highest tax as compared to the small cars for which the increase is the lowest, the NHA official said.
Giving details of the increase in toll fee he said,on National Highways toll rate for cars has been increased  to Rs 30 from Rs 25, toll for wagons has been raised to Rs 40 from Rs 35,buses toll has been increased to Rs 90, two and three axle trucks toll has been hiked to Rs 110 and articulated trucks toll fee has been fixed at Rs 220. on Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway (M-1), the toll tax for cars has been increased to Rs 200; for wagons to Rs 330; for coasters to Rs 460 ; for buses to Rs 660 from Rs285; for two and three axle trucks to Rs 860, and for articulated trucks to Rs 1050.
On Islamabad-Lahore Motorway (M-2), the toll tax for the cars has been increased to Rs 440 from Rs270; for wagons to Rs 730 from Rs370; for coaches to Rs 1020 from Rs595; for buses to Rs 1460 from Rs845; for two and three axle trucks to Rs 1890 from Rs1040  and for articulated trucks to Rs 2330 from Rs 1,335.
On Hyderabad-Karachi Motorway (M-9), the toll tax for cars has been increased to Rs 40 from Rs30; for wagons to Rs 60 from Rs 45; for buses to Rs 90 from Rs75; for two-axle trucks and three-axle trucks to Rs 110 from Rs90 and for trailers to 220 from  Rs175. The toll tax to drive across Kohat Tunnel has been increased for the cars to Rs 60 from Rs45; for wagons to Rs210 from Rs165; for buses and 2,3 axle trucks to Rs260 from Rs205  and for trailers to Rs 390 from  Rs315.
Meanwhile, motorists have expressed their concern over the increase in NHA toll rates on national highways and motorways across the country.
Talking to APP, an electronics engineer Zainul Abideen, who travels to Islamabad from Attock daily on his personal car said that this increase was unjustified. A wagon stand manager Arshad Khan said that the wagon companies were forced to increase inter-city routes’ fares due to recent increase in NHA toll fees.
A lady commuter who travels from Taxila to Islamabad daily termed the recent increase in NHA toll fee an extra burden on the pockets of the motorists and commuters who are already facing it difficult to meet their daily needs in the holy month of Ramazan.

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