The National Highways Authority of India has asked staff at toll plazas to salute or give standing ovation to armed forces personnel passing through the toll gates, Mail Today reported on Wednesday.
The direction came after the highways authority got complaints from armed forces personnel that toll staff are often rude to them and ask them to pay toll, according to The Times of India. According to the rules, personnel of armed forces are exempt from paying the toll while on duty.
“Considering the unparalleled service of the armed forces towards the safety and security of the county, such kind of rude behaviour is not acceptable,” a circular from NHAI said. Only a senior or competent authority, and not the “untrained lower staff” should verify identity cards of Army personnel, the circular said.
“The armed forces personnel deserve the highest regards and should be given due respect at the toll plaza, including salute and standing ovation as deemed fit,” the circular reads.
The highways authority also allowed toll plaza staff to give “benefit of doubt...appropriately”, in case of concerns about the nature of their official duty, considering their “extreme sacrifice” to the nation.