KUALA LUMPUR: Motorists who incur a heavy toll bill from shuttling between their workplace and home may get to enjoy a special discounted rate.
This was one of the suggestions being mulled by Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor, although the Government is still waiting for other options to be proposed by the relevant authorities.
“But we must also consider the Government’s financial ability. There are those who do not use toll roads, and are unhappy that the Government’s money is being used to subsidise tolls.
“We have to consider their opinions too, because they are taxpayers too,” he said.
On his idea of a special rate for motorists to get to their workplace and back, Shaziman said perhaps they could enjoy the rate for 20 working days a month.
“Some people stay far from their workplace. It is not their choice to stay in Puncak Alam, Shah Alam, or Kajang, and work in Putrajaya, for instance. It is because they have families,” he said.
The special rate would apply from one specified point (home) to another (work) and back, he said, but not to other destinations or on weekends.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) would present a comprehensive report on the toll issue to the Government in three months.
Shaziman said EPU would have to evaluate the Govenment’s financial ability in absorbing the cost of retaining the toll rates.
“This must be considered and studied by EPU when making proposals to the Cabinet. Please be patient as the EPU needs three months to prepare the report while the new Government has only been in place for three weeks.”
Shaziman, who was speaking to reporters after launching the Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE), warned highway operators to maintain expressways so that they are in top condition.
He said he would monitor the operators and would announce the names of those who fail to keep up their standards on maintenance.
He said although all our highways are safe, there were little issues, such as flooded roads, that could be resolved with proper maintenance.
“During the rainy season, drains get clogged and only one lane is passable to traffic from the usual three to four lanes.
“These are little matters, but they inconvenience the people,” he said after opening the DUKE highway from Jalan Kuching junction to Sentul junction and launching the book DUKE The Connector here Thursday.
He also reminded operators to continuously monitor hillslopes along highways to prevent untoward incidents.
“Ensure the slopes are stable. Monitor them before anything happens, especially slopes which are prone to landslides. There are many modern technologies now that can be used to monitor them,” he said.
The Jalan Kuching junction to Sentul Pasar junction is the final section of the RM892mil DUKE highway. Sections 2 and 3 were opened on Jan 9.
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