NHAI, BIAL cite trumpet interchange cost to justify higher user fee, toll

NHAI, BIAL cite trumpet interchange cost to justify higher user fee, toll

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has a justification to collect a hefty toll on Airport road: Upgradation, operation and maintenance of 22 kms of the road including the trumpet interchange linking the NH 7 with the BIAL road.

But NHAI, despite calling tenders in 2006 to build this flyover for Rs 39.1 crore, never built it. Instead, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) claims it spent Rs 137 crore to commission this |vital grade separator in May 2008.

In its reasoning for a hike in the User Development Fee (UDF), BIAL had indicated the trumpet interchange as part of its initial regulatory asset base. The original cost of this asset (cited as roads-trumpet) was shown as Rs 137.83 crore in the document submitted to the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA).

This amount works out to more than thrice the cost mentioned in NHAI’s Invitation for Proposal (International Competitive Bidding) issued in June 2006. NHAI’s estimation was that the total project cost of Rs 39.1 crore will include the cost of the flyover, two Road Over Bridges (ROBs), one underpass and road works. Besides, the cost was also to cover a three per cent provision for contingencies and another three per cent for supervision charges. However, the cost did not include those under land acquisition and relocation of utilities. 

Land for the project was acquired by the State Infrastructure Department through the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) at a cost of Rs 17.81 crore. This included the cost of shifting utilities. BIAL was later given possession of the land. 

The project was to be completed on a Build, Operate, Transfer (BOT) basis. Broken down, the estimated cost was Rs 12.81 crore for road works, Rs 6.75 crore for the bridge and other structures, Rs 15.22 crore for RE wall with crash barrier and friction slab, drainage and protection work, and Rs 2.08 crore for miscellaneous work. 

On April 30, 2010, almost two years after the interchange was commissioned, NHAI and Navayuga Devanahalli Tollway Private Limited inked a concession agreement to upgrade, operate and maintain the 22-km Airport road (NH-7) from Km 534.720 to Km 556.840. Indicated in the site of the upgradation project highway were three railway overbridges, eight minor bridges, the Hebbal flyover and the trumpet interchange. 

NHAI had launched its toll collection in 2012, two years before the completion of the road upgradation. The elevated section of the upgraded road to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is yet to be fully completed. 

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