Prime Minister requests temporary halt of controversial tollgate
  • | | December 05, 2017 10:38 AM
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 >>  Drivers pay small notes at toll station in protest
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has requested to halt the operation of the Cai Lay build, operate and transfer (BOT) toll station in Tien Giang Province between one and two months following huge protest by local drivers.

The decision was made at an urgent meeting between the PM and leaders from the Ministry of Transport and Tien Giang Province on the evening of December 4.


Drivers cheer together at the Cai Lay Toll Gate following the PM’s instruction on December 4 evening

Put into operation in early August this year, the toll booth faced fierce opposition from drivers due to its high fees and obviously unsuitable location. After that the Ministry of Transport decided to reduce the fees, however, drivers continued their opposition over the location.

A driver argues with a staff at Cai Lay Toll Station on December 3

Drivers complained that the station is aimed to collect fees from vehicles which travel along the 12-km road leading to Cai Lay Town. However, it is situated on the National Highway which bizarrely means even vehicles not using the 12-km road also have to pay the fees.

Many drivers put small notes into bottles to cause difficulties for the toll booth staff. As a result, the tollgate was suspended for several months until November 30.

But on the first day services were resumed, tensions continued as drivers paid with small changes or big value notes to make the work of the toll staff nearly impossible, leading to traffic jams in the area. The tollgate eventually had to let drivers pass through it for free.

At the meeting on the evening of December 4, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the construction of Cai Lay BOT tollgate was in line with the government policy, but it is vital to consider the public reactions to have more suitable adjustments.


Cai Lay toll booth's staff leave their workplace on December 4 evening

He urged the Ministry of Transport to submit the government a comprehensive report on BOT projects, particularly solutions to Cai Lay BOT toll station, as soon as possible. He noted that the final conclusion about the toll gate would be made by the government and after that, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Information and Communications will hold a press conference on this.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said that the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Government Inspectorate are investigating into Cai Lay BOT toll booth and anyone who will be found to be responsible for problems would be strictly dealt with, even the minister.

Locals greeted the PM’s decision with enthusiasm and await development.

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