I am the father of expressway toll in the country says  Nitin Gadkari

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Gray Frame Corner

Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday told Rajya Sabha that he was the father of toll tax on highways as he built the first such road in Maharashtra during his tenure as minister in the late 1990s.

The senior minister remarked during Question Hour on the concerns raised by members of the House over the setting up of toll stations in the city.

The road transport minister, who is often praised even by opposition members for the performance of his ministry, has assured that the problem that had arisen under the UPA rule will be rectified.

He said that during the UPA government (before 2014), tolls were established near the city area for the people to pay for it. It is very unfortunate and unlawful, he added.

Nitin Gadkari: "I am the father of this toll because for the first time in this country I started the toll system". The first project of BOT (build-operate-transfer) was in Thane Maharashtra, he said

During Gadkari's tenure as PWD Minister in the Maharashtra government from 1995 to 1999, the first project of its kind, the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, was launched.

The minister said with the new system which is going to be launched, "we will see that the city area will be eliminated and there will be no charge on the people".

He also said that the people in the city use only 10 km of the expressway road and are made to pay the toll for 75 km.

"This is absolutely wrong. But this is not my problem and it happened during the previous  government. We will fix it," he allayed the members' concerns.