Minor toll relief for taxis, maxi cabs
The State government on Wednesday said there would be no rollback on the toll for private vehicle users heading towards the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).
However, citing that taxis and maxi cabs make frequent trips to the airport, PWD Minister H C Mahadevappa said Navayuga Devanahalli Tollway Ltd has agreed to slash the new rates by one-third. This will be applicable only to taxis and maxi cabs that make more than 50 trips per month on this route. The concession is being offered with immediate effect, said the minister.
Even as protests affected the flow of traffic here, a day-long meeting was held by representatives of the government, NHAI and Navayuga at Vidhana Soudha. It was attended by NHAI Chief General Manager A K Mathur, Additional Chief Secretary to Chief Minister D N Narasimha Raju, PWD Principal Secretary E Venkataiah and Navayuga General Manager Y Ramesh.
After the meeting, Mahadevappa said on account of the toll being fixed as per agreement between the NHAI and the concessionaire in 2008, and again in 2010, it was impossible to roll back the hike.
However, with the agitation gathering steam, Navayuga agreed to give a discount of 33 per cent to taxis and maxi cabs that ferry passengers to the airport more than 50 times a month. The pass for 50 trips is priced at Rs 2,560. Accordingly, any cab that makes the 51st trip in and out of KIA by using the tollway will be paying Rs 77 for a round trip instead of Rs 115.
Further, with the government impressing upon the concessionaire to provide more relief to residents of local villages within a 20-km radius of the tollway, Navayuga has agreed to provide a monthly pass of Rs 225 per month for unlimited number of trips. There are as many as 110 villages towards Bangalore and another 129 villages that are located en route to Hyderabad. The pass will be available for non-commercial vehicles only.
NHAI said the toll hike is based on the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008. The rules give the concessionaire a leeway for increasing the toll as a one-time fee for the addition of a structure like a bridge or tunnel to any highway in the country.
Mahadevappa said the State government will take up with the Centre the idea of providing alternative roads to the national highways converted into toll roads.