The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has resumed toll collection on national highways after the government decided to relax some restrictions placed to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Toll collection in India restarted nearly a month after it was temporarily suspended to expedite the transportation of emergency goods and services.

According to a PTI report, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways asked NHAI to resume toll collection through an official communication last week.

In the letter to NHAI, the ministry was quoted by the news agency as saying: “In view of the relaxations provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the inter state and intra state movement of all trucks and other goods / carrier vehicles …NHAI should take actions necessary for compliance of the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs … and tolling operations be resumed w.e.f. 20 April 2020.”

However, transporter body All India Motor Transport Congress, which represents around 9.5 million truckers and transport entities, opposed the move.

India is currently under a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the Covid-19 disease.

The national lockdown was first imposed on 25 March for 21 days. Later, it was extended to 3 May.

As of 20 April, the Covid-19 pandemic has claimed more than 550 lives in the country. The number of confirmed cases has also increased to 17,600.

Globally, the figure has surged to 2.4 million, while the death toll crossed 165,000.