HA NOI (VNS)— The Government will spend about VND800-900 billion (US$43 million) to buy toll collection rights at four stations from investors in National Highways 1 and 18 to prevent drivers from paying overlapping tolls.
The Phu Dong, Hoang Mai and Thach Ban toll stations on National Highway 1 and the Bai Chay station on National Highway 18 were set up to collect toll fees until the end of next year so that those who invested in building the roads under the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contracts could have their capital returned.
However, since motorists must now pay road-use fees to fill the new road maintenance fund, the BOT tolls would force them to pay a second fee. Dinh Quan Toll Station collects fees to cover investment for the highway stretching from Duc Trong District to Da Lat City in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. But it is situated in neighbouring Dong Nai Province's Tan Phu District.
Chairman of Tan Phu District People's Committee Ngo Sy Bang said that each day, over 170 local vehicles had to pay tolls at the station, even though they would not use the BOT road.
He complained that enterprises looking to invest in the district's industrial zone were hesitating due to the cost.
The BOT road investor has set up two other toll stations in Lam Dong Province.
At a meeting about the relocation of Dinh Quan Toll Station on Tuesday, Truong Van Vo, vice head of Dong Nai Province's National Assembly deputy group, said that last October, the Transport Ministry agreed to close the station in last year's fourth quarter.
However, it remained operational and the fee had even increased.
The ministry attributed the delay to the fact that Dinh Quan Station was responsible for collecting 55 per cent of the revenue from the whole BOT route. Closing it would mean investors might not recover all their capital.
A representative from the investor said at the meeting that it was seeking a new location for the station, such as the border between the provinces, and expected to complete relocation by the third quarter. —VNS