The CAG has recently released an Audit Report on Toll Operations of National Highways Authority of India in Southern India. According to the report, due to the failure to implement the NH Fee Amendment Rules of 2013 regarding the upgrade of existing 4-lane highways, NHAI continued to collect use fees at three toll plazas – Nathavalasa, Chalageri, and Hebbalu – during the delayed period of construction, despite the amended rule providing for no toll during the delayed period of the projects. Due to this, user fees totaling Rs 124.18 crore were collected during May 2021 in violation of the revised toll fee laws.
NHAI delayed reducing the user fee to 75% of the fee applicable in the instance of the Paranur toll plaza in Tamil Nadu and the Madpam toll plaza in Andhra Pradesh, and the user fee was revised annually despite the amended rules requiring no revision of the user fee during upgradation.
In another case, the CAG discovered that, despite the NH Fee Rules stating that no toll can be imposed on bridges established before September 1956, NHAI collected toll at the Paranur public-funded toll plaza on a bridge completed in 1954.