Toll tax collection from private vehicles on state highways has begun again from Friday midnight in Rajasthan, 18 months since it was revoked by the previous BJP-led government in the State.Private vehicles were exempted from paying toll tax on State highways in April last year in Rajasthan, but the Congress government in the state decided to reverse the decision for maintenance and repairing of roads. A notification for toll tax collection was issued by the government on Thursday, following which the exercise was started from midnight. The State government, in a statement, said repairing and maintenance of the highways were being affected due to the previous regime’s decision, which was taken “hurriedly and without consideration”, adding that this was being done in public interest and to ensure that the exchequer was not burdened.Since the former BJP regime, led by Vasundhara Raje, exempted private vehicles from paying toll tax on 55 State highways, it led to a loss of ₹172 crore in toll tax collection, as compared to financial year 2017-18, which had an adverse impact on road repair and construction works, according to the statement. Before the exemption was accorded to private vehicles, toll tax collection on various state highways fetched Rs 851 crore annually and these highways were being properly maintained, the government said. The collection of toll tax from commercial vehicles will continue. After the notification was issued, the BJP hit out at the Congress government in the state, claiming that it had “betrayed the people“.State BJP chief Satish Poonia said the previous government had provided relief to people with its decision, but the current government was taking “anti-people decisions”. The BJP has demanded that the government withdraw the notification.