BIAL keeps mum over toll booth

However, the authorities of the international airport are not winning any hearts by giving guarded response to the proposed toll booth.

Taking a neutral stance, BIAL Chief Executive Officer Marcel Hungerbuehler told Deccan Herald, "The toll booth is outside our (BIAL) jurisdiction, and comes within the jurisdiction of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). We cannot interfere in their work".

When asked if NHAI authorities had intimated BIAL about the toll booth, he replied in the negative.

The toll fee is collected by NHAI a few metres before the trumpet flyover on NH-7 that takes travellers to the airport. The toll is  collected by a private company which is developing a traffic-free corridor from Hebbal to the airport, including a six-lane elevated expressway from Hebbal to Yelahanka.

The toll fee to BIAL is just the latest in the additional charges that those flying from Bangalore have to shell out, since the HAL airport was shut down and the new airport was established. Not only do travellers have to travel 35 km from the heart of the City to get to the airport, but they also have to shell out a User Development Fee (UDF) of Rs 1,070 for international flights and Rs 260 for domestic flights.

The UDF charges are expected to be further raised after the final guidelines for charging of UDF by the Airport Economic Regulatory Authority of India is issued. The additional UDF will fund the Rs 1,000 crore Terminal-1 expansion plan.

On inconvenience to BIA employees due to the proposed toll booth, Hungerbuehler said they were in the dark about whether charges would be levied on BIA employees. 

NHAI officials said only people living within a radius of 10 km from the toll booth will be eligible for a discounted pass of around Rs 100. Those working would not be eligible.

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