Stir threatened against toll hike on B'lore-Chennai Road

Addressing a joint press conference on Saturday, P Gopal Naidu, President, SZMTWA and G R Shanmugappa, President, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) warned the Government of intense agitation by blocking the NH-1, if the government failed to roll back the hike.

Shanmugappa said that the lorries have been paying a sum of Rs 1,600 for using the road stretch of 700 km (to and fro), which has now been doubled. “The toll for the same 700 km will be Rs 3,200,” he said.

He said that the Government had fixed a toll of Rs 3.45 per km for the existing four-lane road and the same had been doubled now.

“The Centre wants to convert the road connecting Bangalore with Chennai as well as the return route into six-lane highways. It has already awarded the contract to L&T and Reliance group. The companies are already collecting the toll, for the roads which are yet to be constructed,” he said.

He said that though the association met officials from NHAI and others to get the matter addressed, they have been told that since the agreement has been signed, there is nothing much which can be done now.

The Centre, he said, had constructed the road at a cost of Rs 600 crore three years ago and has earned Rs 1,000 crore already through collection of toll.  “Now, within a short span, they have awarded a Rs 2,000-crore tender to widen the road to private players,” he pointed out. Shanmugappa stated that about 6,000 lorries ply on this road everyday.

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