IT is up to the rakyat to continue “dreaming” about toll-free roads as there is currently no move to abolish tolls or construct toll-free roads, says Works Minister Baru Bian.
“There will be no abolition of tolls until the government’s fiscal situation is up to a healthier level,” he said in reply to a supplementary question by Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS-Pasir Mas).
Ahmad wanted to know if the rakyat should continue dreaming about toll-free roads in light of a recent statement by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that it was not possible to have toll-free roads.
To a question by Muslimin Yahaya (PH-Sungai Besar), Baru said the government was looking at ways to deal with the issue of tolls.
Among them, he said, was to lower toll rates, implementing a flat-rate toll system and offering discounts on toll rates during off-peak periods.
On the RM6.54bil West Coast Expressway (WCE), Baru said that there will be 20 toll plazas along the 233km-long highway.
He said the project, initiated in 2013, is 60% completed and will be open in stages next year.
Baru said the project will be completed in 2022, two years behind schedule. He said the delay was due to land acquisition issues and routing the highway alignment in Tanjung Karang.