Kochi | Industry body Cochin Chamber of Commerce has protested against the National Highway Authority of India’s decision to impose a toll system on the Vallarpadam-Kalamassery Container Road. In a letter to Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, president of the Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) C S Kartha said the NHAI decision to levy a toll on vehicles, especially those carrying exim containers, will automatically increase the cost of exports/imports through the Cochin Port.
In the interest of maintaining the competitiveness of our exports we request that the toll for exim cargo be waived and that the toll on other vehicles be reduced to affordable levels, Kartha said and asked the Minister to ensure that exim cargo is spared from the payment of tolls on this road. Noting that the Cochin Chamber is not, in principle, against the collection of tolls, since it is essential for the development and maintenance of road infrastructure across the country, Kartha said, our concern pertains to this particular road.
For one, the toll rates prescribed by the NHAI are exorbitant. Secondly, the move is premature, given the fact that the said road is still being developed, he said in the letter, a copy which is also sent to Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
If the NHAI is allowed to impose the proposed tolls the additional burden will automatically be passed on to the already beleaguered EXIM community. Needless to say that the Cochin Port and the ICTT too will be adversely affected by such an occurrence, the letter said.
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