Toll booths have been an efficient way of collecting road taxes for quite a while now. The person using the road has to pay a particular tax amount depending on their choice of vehicle at the toll booth. This is how normally a toll booth works, under the strict regulation and observation of the government. But there has been an increase in the number of toll booths across the country, a type of increase that bothers a lot of people and makes it difficult for them to travel.
The increase cannot be linked back to the government directly. This has been put into light by a Reddit user, Ashish Tiwari, who in his post explains how due to his RTI application a scam was exposed that put into perspective the funny business that has been going on under the noses of the people.
Ashish while travelling from his native place to the railway station had to always pay a toll while crossing the bridge. This toll has kept on increasing over the years. The thing that made him suspicious was that there was no particularly fixed amount that had to be paid as a toll. Some people paid a fixed amount while some crossed without paying anything.
This all led to him to file an RTI application so as to get to know the building cost of the bridge, the name of the current vendors, copy of the toll collection Government order etc. The reply from the RTI came after a year and a half. This was because the department behind the bridge department made it travel from one department to another continuously. After the delay, the user got almost every detail behind the construction of the bridge, ownership and so on.
Due to the RTI, the local politician of that area closed down all 13 bridges of the similar type present in the area. The reason was that the RTI helped reveal a massive underlying corruption scandal that was being run by the bridge department in partnership with the local mafia, politicians and the police. The bridges were being used as a front to milk in almost 4 lakhs on a daily basis. This does put our governmental and administrative scenario in a perspective that doesn’t look very bright.
Other than that, the RTI revealed that it has been more than 25 years and still the money used to make that one bridge wasn’t recovered. This article puts into light an intuitive Indian citizen who just wanted to know the reason behind the rising tolls and due to which all the 13 bridges in his native area closed down the toll booths.
According to the user it has been more than 10 years since this incident happened and still, people are after him due to the fact that his RTI helped disrupt a corruption scheme. The whole incident helps us to understand the power that an RTI may have, even if the process may be slow, the impact can be quite deadly.