State asks Centre to reduce toll charges along airport road

State asks Centre to reduce toll charges along airport road

State asks Centre to reduce toll charges along airport road

Under pressure from various quarters, the State government has opposed the steep increase in the toll on a stretch of NH-7 leading to Kempegowda International Airport and urged Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Oscar Fernandes to slash the charges by applying the 2014 toll policy.

Public Works Department Minister H C Mahadevappa told reporters on Monday that the toll on the stretch would come down by an average of Rs 20 for a round trip and Rs 10 for a one-way trip if the 2014 policy was applied.

At present, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is imposing the toll as per the 2008 policy, he added. Mahadevappa said he has submitted a memorandum to Fernandes in this regard on Sunday evening in Bangalore.

Fernandes, along with Mahadevappa, was scheduled to attend a meeting on the issue at the Vidhana Soudha on Monday. But he cancelled it as he had an important meeting in Delhi.

 Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has also spoken to the Union minister over phone in this regard, Mahadevappa said.

He also said the government has told the Centre to take steps to complete the service road along NH-7 leading to the airport and make it toll-free.

The NHAI recently hiked the toll on the stretch from Rs 20 to Rs 75 for a one-way trip for cars and jeeps. The move triggered large-scale protests.

The 2014 policy stipulates equal charges for both surface and elevated stretches but every kilometre of the elevated stretch is calculated as 10 km for the sake of toll collection. The toll for a kilometre of surface road is 97 paise.

The total length of the elevated highway in this stretch is 4.9 km. As a result, the total length of the stretch to be calculated for toll purpose will be about 68 km and it will be multiplied by 97 paise to arrive at the toll, the minister said.

As per the 2008 policy, there are separate tolls for surface road (97 paise per km) and elevated road (Rs 11.83 per km) of the highway leading to the airport.
The toll for the elevated stretch is fixed depending on the cost of the project.