RTI reveals irregularities in toll collection at the Kumbalam Toll Plaza
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has indicated massive irregularities in the toll collection at the Kumbalam Toll Plaza in the Edappally-Aroor stretch (Kerala) on National Highway 47.
According to the reply to the application given by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the average daily traffic, except for exempted vehicles, as on July 2011 was 10,325 as measured by an Automatic Vehicle Counter-cum-Classifier system installed at the site. However, documents procured from the National Transportation, Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) show that the average traffic volume per day through the stretch is 22,320.
The NHAI authorities claim that annual toll potential at the toll plaza as per the report of NATPAC is Rs 11.58 crore. Hence, the tender price was fixed at Rs. 9.37 crore after deducting the wages of employees and utility bills. A private company was then selected as the toll collecting agent for being the highest bidder with Rs.10.11 crore. However, a copy of the NATPAC report collected through RTI assesses the potential annual toll collection as Rs 27 crore.
The RTI activists now allege that the NHAI officials awarded toll collection tenders for unreasonably low amounts and that all the tender work took place concealing the report of NATPAC. The NHAI authorities have refuted the claim.