Moily, Muniyappa differ over toll

On Sunday, while Union Minister for Law Veerappa Moily had expressed himself against the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) proposal to toll the stretch between Hebbal and Bangalore International Airport (BIA).

On Monday, Union Minister for State for Railways K H Muniyappa said toll was a ‘meagre’ sum that needed to be paid for ‘good roads’.

Both Ministers belong to the Congress in the UPA government and also to Karnataka. Both represent neighbouring constituencies - Moily represents Chikballapur and Muniyappa, Kolar.

Muniyappa contradicted his fellow party MP and colleague at the Centre on the toll issue by stating that the amount was being paid towards a private company for building durable roads for citizens. “We need not cause a concern over this toll. It is a meagre sum to be paid towards the private agency who is building better roads along the stretch,” he said.

The Union Minister from Kolar went one step further in dismissing the entire issue by stating: “Being a former Surface Transport Minister, I do realise the importance of the maintenance of roads. The toll being levied on the citizens is quite nominal considering he or she will be spending Rs 100 for his travel to the airport. Another Rs 30 will not be heavy on their pockets,” he said.

While the Transport Minister R Ashoka has promised to intervene echoing Veerappa Moily’s concern for citizens travelling towards Devanahalli and beyond, there has been no movement on the talks with NHAI.

NHAI has already commissioned the construction of temporary toll booths at Sadarahalli Gate that leads to BIA while the permanent toll plaza will come up sometime later.
Sources said the toll will be levied on the stretch between Hebbal and Devanahalli and the charges will be in line with the National Highway Fees (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008.

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