The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has directed all toll operators to train their staff to pay respect to Armed Forces personnel. “Armed forces personnel deserve the highest regard and should be given due respect at the toll plaza including salute and standing ovation as deemed fit,” an NHAI circular said.
The circular was issued after NHAI received complaints from armed forces personnel that toll staff often used harsh language with them or sought further proof even after seeing their identity cards. According to rules, personnel of armed forces are exempt from toll while on duty.
The highways authority said verification of ID cards of armed forces personnel should be done by senior/competent authority and should not be left to “untrained lowest staff “. “It is needless to emphasise that considering the extreme sacrifice of armed forces to the nation, in case of doubt with respect to nature of their official duty, benefit of doubt should be given appropriately to armed forces personnel,” the circular added.
NHAI chairman Deepak Kumar said, “Toll operators have been asked to provide behavioural training to their personnel to do so. Moreover, we are planning to provide this training with the help of tourism ministry and their hotel management institutions.”
This is not the first time that NHAI has come out with directions for toll operators. In February 2016, it has issued a list of instructions, including a dress code. All staff at toll plazas were asked to wear navy blue full-sleeved shirts and trousers, sports caps and safety jackets with the name of the operator mentioned on them. The operators were directed to display toll charges prominently and deploy their personnel only after training them in basic etiquette to deal with commuters. But these guidelines are hardly followed, particularly prominent display of toll charges.
Source : timesofindia