Till 16 March, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) suffered a toll revenue loss of Rs 814.4 crore due to farmer protests in three states.
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Union Road Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari has informed the parliament that they have requested the state administrations to restore the user fee collection.
“Loss of revenue due to farmers’ protest has primarily occurred in the states of Punjab and Haryana and at a few plazas in Rajasthan. No loss of revenue is reported on account of farmers’ protest in other states,” he said.
The loss at Rs 487 crore was the highest in Punjab, followed by Rs 326 crore in Haryana and Rs 1.40 crore in Rajasthan, reports The Indian Express.
“Request has been made to the Government of Punjab for urgent intervention for the smooth functioning of fee plazas in Punjab,” Gadkari said.
Meanwhile as the dissent against the central government’s three new farm laws continue, the protesting farmers have started raising pucca brick-and-cement structures on the highways of the Singhu and Tikri borders.
Protestors claimed that they are preparing themselves for the grueling summer months. In fact, the protestors even performed the ‘griha pravesh’ of their first pucca settlement in Tikri on 12 March.
The rebel farmers have rolled out several amenities at the protest sites over the course from December, 2020. Back then, pictures of the protesters relaxing in massage chairs went viral across the internet.