The Border Roads Organization (BRO) is going to set up its toll plaza on a highway for the first time in the country. Tourist vehicles will now be charged toll tax before passing through Atal Tunnel Rohtang, the longest traffic tunnel built at the highest altitude in the world. A decision has not yet been taken on recovery from the local people.
Toll plaza will be set up near Dhundi in the south portal of the tunnel. BRO’s Atal Tunnel Project has sent its proposal to the Central Government for approval. The BRO is expected to get its nod by this summer season. It is being told that lakhs of rupees are being spent every day in the maintenance of Atal Tunnel. Tunnel maintenance is a long process. Therefore, to reduce the burden of the government, BRO has planned to set up toll plazas in the South Portal.
The amount collected from the toll plaza will be used for the maintenance of the Atal Tunnel. However, it has not yet been decided what kind of vehicles will be charged at the toll plaza. Since the inauguration of the tunnel on 3rd October 2020, more than 18 lakh vehicles have passed through it so far. Although the BRO had written a letter to the Lahaul-Spiti administration regarding the plan to set up a toll plaza near Jispa in Lahaul behind the proposed Shinkula tunnel, the local panchayats have refused to give their approval for it. A proposal to set up a toll plaza in the South Portal of Atal Tunnel has been prepared and sent to the Central Government for approval. Approval on this proposal from the Center is awaited.