Using bridges under BBA: No toll exemption from April
The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) is set to withdraw toll-payment-exemption facility for vehicles, including those of various state-owned agencies, while using three multipurpose bridges under it, officials said.
Currently, the BBA has three bridges - the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Bangabandhu Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge, and Muktarpur Bridge - under its jurisdiction.
The decision to withdraw toll exemption will be made effective from April 1. It came from the 112nd board meeting of the BBA with Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, in the chair.
Paying toll by the Prime Minister and her encouragement to all to pay tolls along with repayment of loans were taken into consideration to unanimously withdraw the toll exemption facility by the BBA board.
The BBA has sought cooperation from the government authorities concerned regarding the issue. Only the President's motorcade will enjoy toll exemption facility for the three bridges. Besides, vehicles of operation and maintenance (O&M) companies and contractors engaged in building bridges/infrastructure can cross the bridges subject to payment of toll by the BBA.
Government vehicles of fire services, law-enforcing agencies, wreckers, ambulances, etc, will enjoy toll-free facility while using the bridges.
Currently, vehicles of different state agencies, including the BBA, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, etc, enjoy toll exemption facility for the Padma, Jamuna and Muktarpur bridges. The tolls of state-run vehicles are paid by the BBA.
The state-own vehicles will be able to credit toll facility with prior approval or written document of the bridge authority.
The BBA has been losing huge amount of revenue because of providing toll exemption. Besides, it has been facing difficulties to meet different expenditures, including paying local/foreign loans and its own spending.
It has also been implementing projects and operating and maintaining the bridges through its own earnings.