While every driver in India has had to wait in serpentine queues at toll plazas and have grumbled about the slow process and loss of valuable time, it is Advocate Hariom Jindal who has filed a Right to Information application arguing this point.
Advocate Jindal claims that his RTI application’s answer from government revealed that the total time a vehicle should spend at a toll plaza should not be more than 3 minutes. If the person is made to wait for more than 3 minutes then they can pass free of cost.
Advocate Jindal argues that he has also had to wait in long queues at toll plazas where vehicles have to put up with slow toll collectors who do not even disclose correct schedule or timings. Advocate Jindal has moved Ludhiana Consumer Court to bring this service provided by National Highways Authority of India under jurisdiction of the Consumer Court.
Though the idea of waiting at the toll plaza for just 3 minutes or go free would seem exciting, many would find it not really practical and think that it cannot really be implemented successfully at least on most highways in India.
The reasons – First and foremost one would have to prove to the toll operator that one is waiting in line for over three minutes and then one would have to waste some more time arguing that they should be exempted from payment of toll charges.
Most would think that it is better to pay and leave. But this is a short term solution. This way, we have to continue waiting in those long queues while the toll operators don’t do anything to shorten the wait time.
As per one activist, more and more people should argue with toll operators, take videos of people waiting in queue. The second you are waiting in the queue, you should start recording. Once you reach the toll booth, show it to the toll operator. If the operator says there is no such rule, make sure you meet with the head of operator. Tell others in the queue about the rule. Only then this laid back attitude of toll operators stands a chance to change.