Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Tuesday made it clear that the toll system would stay as the government does not have enough funds. Gadkari said that if people want good roads, they will have to pay toll.
"If you want good services, you have to pay for it. The government does not have money," Gadkari said while replying to a discussion on demands for grants for the Road Transport and Highways Ministry in the Lok Sabha.
Amid concerns expressed by some members over the collection of toll in different parts of the country, Gadkari said the money collected through toll from the areas which have the capacity to pay is utilised for building roads in rural and hilly areas.
"Toll system can never end, though the rates may vary from time to time. Toll collection is my brainchild," Gadkari said.
Underlining that land acquisition is a major problem in road construction projects, Gadkari urged that state governments should come out with solutions and help find a way out.
The minister said his ministry was not moving forward with the project without 80 per cent of land acquisition and this principle is being followed very strictly.
Gadkari said land acquisition process is very slow in West Bengal and Bihar.
Noting that more than 400 projects worth Rs 3.85 lakh crore were closed when he assumed charge of the ministry in 2014, Gadkari said the BJP-led government saved NPAs worth Rs 3 lakh crore during the past five years by beginning work on these projects.
"There were 403 projects pending when the Narendra Modi came to power involving a cost of Rs 3,85,000 crore. It is a great achievement of the government that we saved bankers of Rs 3 lakh crore of NPAs and now 90 per cent of projects are moving fast," he said.