NEW DELHI: Tolls on National Highways may increase slightly as the government is considering an option to raise adequate funding from this usage fee to provide free medical care for road traffic accident victims hit by uninsured vehicles and accident victims Cases.
The government would need about 2,000 rupees annually for this purpose, sources said. TOI has learned that the National Health Authority (NHA), which is being used to implement this free medical treatment for accident victims, is working on the total fund that would be required for this purpose.
Sources said the Treasury Department had advised the Road Transport Department that raising the fund for this purpose through tolls would be the most viable option.
The amended Motor Vehicle Act provides for free medical care for victims of traffic accidents and compensation in the event of an accident.
The law stipulates that the Ministry of Transport will set up a vehicle aid fund with its own contribution and from the General Insurance Company (GIC) for such purposes and for cashless treatment of accident victims.
While the General Insurance Corporation (GIC) pays the cost of victims of accidents involving insured vehicles and hit and run events, the government pays the cost of accidents involving uninsured vehicles.
Under the amended law, the minimum allowance for death in a hit and run case is Rs 2 lakh and Rs 50,000 for serious injuries.
Sources said that since most of the tolls are currently paid through FASTag, the government may increase the fee slightly rather than the current norm of rounding the toll amount to the nearest 5 rupee denomination.
India loses around 1.5 lakh in traffic accidents and another five lakh are injured. Almost half of those lives can be saved with immediate medical care, according to a Law Commission report.