ISLAMABAD - Around 13 non-operational toll plazas at different locations on national highways across the country are causing a revenue loss of over Rs350 million each year to the National Highway Authority.

According to details available with The Nation, a total of thirteen toll plazas are non-operational for the last couple of years due to deteriorating law and order situation in the country, and the ‘non-cooperation’ on the part of district government in this regard.

The non-operational toll plazas include Pabbi at N-5, KhawazaKhela at N-45, Chakdara at N-90, Havelian and Mansehra at N-35, Balakot at N-15, Quetta-Chamman and Baleli at N-25, Dulbadin at N-40, Khonozai at N-50, Mach at N-65, Dubai Masjid at N-25 and Kashmore at N-55.

According to an official assessment, the total estimated revenue for 2018-19 from these thirteen toll plazas is Rs3,57,202,739, which is a loss to public exchequer because the same toll plazas are non-functional.

The estimated revenue from these toll plazas include Rs6,854,400 from Pabbi at N-5, Rs.11199,996 from KhawazaKhela at N-45, Rs39,312,000 from Chakdara at N-90, Rs15,792,000 and 56,448,000 from Havelian and Manshera at N-35 respectively, Rs5,04,000 from Balakot at N-15, Rs6,585,600 and Rs29,930,880 at Quetta-Chamman and Baleli at N-25 respectively, Rs6,854,400 at Dulbadin at N-40, Rs7,526,400 from Khonozai at N-50, Rs17,919,995 from Mach at N-65, Rs7,20,000 from Dubai Masjid at N-25 and Rs84,849,468 from Kashmore at N-55.

Sources said that the authority had made its best efforts in the past to make these toll plazas fully functional but failed to succeed so far. The NHA also offered the operations of these toll plazas to Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and National Logistic Cell (NLC) but both have refused to accept the proposal.

"We have also tried to make the toll plazas operational with the help of respective district governments and our regional management held meetings with them and chief secretaries of the provinces," a deputy director informed on condition of anonymity, adding but they did not extend their cooperation in this regard.

According to the tolling policy approved by the National Highway Council (NHC), a toll plaza can be established after every 35 to 60km on National Highways while revenue collected from road users on these toll plazas is supposed to be used for maintenance and road safety of national highways and motorways.

The record shows that a total of Rs13,359 million was recovered as revenue by NHA from motorways and highways in year 2012-13.

The collection of toll on motorways started in November 1997 whereas in July 1999, the federal government had decided to transfer the rights to collect tolls on national highways to NHA so in practical the tolling on highways commenced in 1999.

Initially, the task to collect toll tax was given to NLC & FWO and same arrangement continued till October 2008 on National Highways when the Senate of Pakistan in 2008 stressed on gradual privatisation of toll plazas.