What’s the Rs 6,000 crore toll tax ‘scam’ in Delhi’s MCD?

What’s the Rs 6,000 crore toll tax ‘scam’ in Delhi’s MCD?

Indian Toll Tax Scams: What You Need to Know

Toll tax is a fee that commercial vehicles have to pay when they enter a city or state. It is supposed to be used for the maintenance and development of roads and infrastructure. However, in India, there have been several allegations of toll tax scams, where the money collected from the vehicles does not reach the government or the public, but is siphoned off by private contractors or corrupt officials.

One of the most recent and prominent cases of toll tax scam is the one involving the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which is controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which governs Delhi, has accused the MCD of colluding with two toll tax companies and causing a huge loss of Rs 6,000 crore to the public exchequer.

How does the MCD collect toll tax?

The MCD is the agency in-charge of collecting toll tax in Delhi. Commercial vehicles entering Delhi have to pay between Rs 700 and Rs 1,400 for an Environment Compliance Certificate, and Rs 100 and Rs 2,000 for toll depending on size and category.

Toll tax collections are managed by private contractors who make payments as per open tenders to the municipal body. Of Delhi’s 124 border points, RFID toll collection systems have been installed at 13 major entry points, used by nearly 80-85 per cent of commercial vehicle traffic entering the city.

According to AAP, 10 lakh commercial vehicles from Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other neighbouring cities enter the national capital via the 124 routes every day.

What is AAP’s allegation?

AAP's Delhi civic body election in-charge Durgesh Pathak has alleged a Rs 6,000 crore scam in the collection of toll tax by MCD. He claimed that the MCD awarded a tender to a private company in 2017 for the collection of toll tax, and, as per the contract, the company had to pay Rs 1,200 crore to the MCD every year.

However, he said that the company paid the full amount to MCD in the first year, but ever since, in connivance with MCD, stopped giving the collected tax to the civic agency. The corporation, which should have cancelled the tender, blacklisted the company and issued a tender to a new company, but has done nothing for the last four years.

He also alleged that another company, which was given the contract for collecting toll tax through RFID systems, has also not paid Rs 950 crore to the MCD and went to the court.

Pathak said that Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had written to Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena and demanded a CBI probe into the alleged toll tax scam with documents two months ago, but the LG has not yet ordered a probe or even acknowledged the letter.

How has the MCD responded?

The MCD has denied the allegations of AAP and called them baseless and politically motivated. The MCD leaders have said that they have not received any letter from Sisodia and that they are ready for any probe by any agency.

They have also claimed that the toll tax collection has increased in the last four years and that they have taken action against the defaulting contractors. They have accused AAP of trying to divert attention from its own failures and mismanagement of Delhi.

Why does it matter?

The toll tax scam, if proven true, is a serious matter of corruption and fraud that affects the public interest and welfare. The money collected from toll tax is supposed to be used for improving the roads, bridges, flyovers, street lights and other infrastructure in Delhi. However, if the money is being pocketed by private contractors or officials, then it deprives the citizens of their rightful services and facilities.

Moreover, the toll tax scam also raises questions about the accountability and transparency of the MCD and its contractors. How can such a huge amount of money go missing without any audit or oversight? How can the MCD award tenders to companies without verifying their credentials or performance? How can the LG ignore such a serious complaint by the deputy CM without any action or response?

The toll tax scam also exposes the political rivalry and blame game between AAP and BJP, which hampers the governance and development of Delhi. Instead of working together for the common good of the people, the two parties are engaged in a constant war of words and accusations, which creates confusion and distrust among the public.

The toll tax scam, therefore, is not just a financial issue, but also a social and political one. It needs to be investigated thoroughly and impartially by a credible agency, and the guilty parties need to be brought to justice. The public deserves to know the truth and get their due share of the toll tax money.

How to Avoid Toll Tax Scams in India

If you are a commercial vehicle owner or driver who frequently travels across different cities or states in India, you may have encountered toll tax scams at some point. These scams involve charging you more than the actual toll fee, issuing fake receipts or certificates, or not issuing any receipt or certificate at all. These scams not only rob you of your hard-earned money, but also put you at risk of legal action or penalties if you are caught without valid documents.

So, how can you avoid toll tax scams in India? Here are some tips and precautions that you can follow:

Always check the official toll rates and charges for the routes that you are travelling on. You can find this information on the websites or apps of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), FASTag, or the respective state governments. You can also call the toll-free helpline numbers of these authorities to verify the toll rates and charges.

Always insist on getting a receipt or certificate for the toll tax that you pay. The receipt or certificate should have details such as the name and address of the toll plaza, the vehicle number, the date and time of payment, the amount paid, and the validity period. If the toll operator refuses to give you a receipt or certificate, or gives you a fake or invalid one, you can lodge a complaint with the NHAI, FASTag, or the state government authorities.

Always use electronic modes of payment such as FASTag, debit cards, credit cards, UPI, etc. to pay toll tax. These modes are safer, faster, and more transparent than cash payments. They also help you avoid long queues and save fuel and time. Moreover, they generate digital records of your transactions that can be used as proof in case of any dispute or discrepancy.

Always be alert and vigilant while paying toll tax. Do not fall for any tricks or traps by the toll operators such as asking for extra charges for environmental compliance, congestion fee, service fee, etc. Do not pay any bribe or commission to anyone to avoid toll tax or get a discount. Do not accept any offer or scheme that sounds too good to be true. Do not share any personal or financial information with anyone at the toll plaza.

Always report any toll tax scam that you encounter or witness to the authorities. You can call the toll-free helpline numbers of the NHAI, FASTag, or the state government authorities, or write to them via email or post. You can also use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to raise awareness and expose the scam. You can also file a police complaint or a consumer court case against the toll operator or the contractor if you have sufficient evidence and documents.

By following these tips and precautions, you can avoid toll tax scams in India and protect your rights and interests as a commercial vehicle owner or driver. You can also contribute to the fight against corruption and fraud in the toll tax system and ensure that the money collected from toll tax is used for the public good.


Conclusion

Toll tax is an important source of revenue for the government and a means of ensuring the quality and safety of roads and infrastructure in India. However, there are many cases of toll tax scams that deprive the government and the public of their rightful share of the toll tax money and cause inconvenience and harassment to the commercial vehicle owners and drivers.

To avoid toll tax scams in India, it is essential to be aware of the official toll rates and charges, to demand a receipt or certificate for every toll payment, to use electronic modes of payment, to be alert and vigilant while paying toll tax, and to report any scam or fraud to the authorities.

By following these steps, you can not only save your money and time, but also help in curbing corruption and fraud in the toll tax system and ensuring that the toll tax money is used for the public good.

Source

(1) Explained: What’s the Rs 6,000 crore toll tax ‘scam’ in Delhi’s MCD?. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-politics/delhi-toll-tax-scam-aap-manish-sisodia-mcd-explained-8085669/.

(2) Why Delhi LG not ordering probe into toll tax scam ... - New Indian Express. https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/oct/06/why-delhi-lg-not-orderingprobe-into-toll-tax-scam-worth-rs-6000-crore-aap-2505357.html.

(3) Aam Aadmi Party alleges scam in toll tax collection by BJP-led MCD. https://zeenews.india.com/india/aam-aadmi-party-alleges-scam-in-toll-tax-collection-by-bjp-led-mcd-2469542.html.

(4) Dy CM Sisodia writes to Delhi L-G, demands CBI probe in toll tax scam .... https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/manish-sisodia-delhi-l-g-toll-tax-scam-cbi-demand-probe-2022-08-10-798918.

(5) Toll tax ‘scam’ caused Rs 6,000 crore loss: AAP ... - Times of India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/toll-tax-scam-caused-rs-6kcr-loss-aap-mcd-says-claims-baseless/articleshow/93463980.cms.

To Top