To curb altercation incidents and strengthen security at National Highway Toll Plazas, NHAI has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SoP) to safeguard the interests of both the commuters and toll operators.
The detailed Standard Operating Procedure includes guidelines for NHAI field offices to ensure strict implementation and adherence by toll-collecting agencies to manage staff and road users.
In addition to this, ‘Toll par Calm’ a special drive has been initiated by NHAI at Toll Plazas. Under this initiative, NHAI has collaborated with professional Psychologists for anger management and customer delight training to Toll Plaza staff. The first training session was conducted at Murthal Toll Plaza in Haryana, and more training will be conducted on other toll plazas across the country.
As per the SoP, NHAI field offices will make sure that the toll-collecting agency performs its duties as per the guidelines. The toll collecting agency will ensure that staff at the toll plaza wear the prescribed NHAI uniform with a name badge. Any anticipated incidence of violence should only be handled by Toll Plaza Manager/ lane supervisors, who will wear body cameras to record instances of violence at the toll plazas. In case of unruly behavior by a road user, the lane supervisor shall intervene and try to resolve the issue peacefully. Under no circumstances, toll plaza staff shall use provocative language or resort to violence. Toll Plaza officials may take help from local police and lodge an FIR in case the issue persists or escalates. Videography can be done by the staff as proof to report such incidents to the police.
Any incidence that involves physical violence by the road user or damage to public property at the toll plaza should immediately be reported by the toll collecting agency to the police and concerned NHAI Project Implementation Unit with all necessary documents/ proof.
NHAI field offices shall ensure that toll-collecting agencies possess police verification of each and every staff deployed at the toll plaza. In addition, toll collecting agencies must direct the toll plaza staff to be courteous with road users.
The toll collection agency should also give monthly statements of incidents/ FIRs to the concerned NHAI Project Implementation Unit so that in case of inaction by the authorities, NHAI field officials can report the same to the District Collector and request action. Consolidated reports may be taken up by the NHAI Regional Office at state-level meetings.
Toll plazas witness altercations between road users and toll plaza staff over toll issues. Heated arguments in some cases turn into physical violence. The issuance of Standard Operating procedures will help to minimize such instances and will help both highway users and toll plaza officials in the smooth conduct of day-to-day operations.