KUALA LUMPUR: Motorists using the Senai-Johor Baru Highway will not have to pay toll effective March 1.
Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the Cabinet decided on the matter after considering several recommendations by the ministry.
He said the decision would cost the Government RM331.68mil in compensation which had to be paid to highway concessionaire Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (PLUS).
Speaking to reporters after chairing the post-Cabinet meeting at his ministry, Samy Vellu said the decision was made following numerous appeals from various associations, groups and political parties.
He said residents associations and political parties in Johor Baru had complained that the toll collection was a burden to them.
Tolls were collected from motorists travelling on the highway from Senai to Johor Baru since 1988. Over the years, the charges were increased from 50 sen to the current RM2.
About 15,000 vehicles use the highway daily.
Samy Vellu said the Cabinet had yesterday deliberated on four recommendations submitted by the ministry.
The recommendations were: to abolish toll collection, to reduce toll charges by 50% without any future increases, to reduce the charges by 50% with increases according to the concession, and to maintain the rates according to the agreement.
“The ministry had obtained feedback from the Finance Ministry and other relevant departments before compiling the report to the Cabinet,” he said.
The mode of payment of the compensation to PLUS would be negotiated by the Finance Ministry.
Deputy Works Minister Datuk Mohd Khaled Nordin, who is also MP for Johor Baru, and Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Lim Si Cheng, the MP for Senai, were also present.
Samy Vellu said Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Abdul Ghani Othman had been informed of the Cabinet’s decision to abolish the toll collection.
He said he and other ministry officials would be present at the ceremony to cease collection at the toll plaza at 11.55pm on Feb 29.
Lim said the people would welcome the decision as they had been clamouring for its abolishment.