Protests apart, demand for NHAI passes on rise

Protests apart, demand  for NHAI passes on rise

While locals and airport passengers are agitated over the toll hike on Kempegowda International Airport Road, there are many who have applied for free concessional passes.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has already issued over 200 passes to highway road users who are not using the toll road, but are passing through it to reach their homes.

However, educational institutions located in and around Devanahalli are a worried lot, as their transport vehicles are tolled and students are being burdened.

NHAI Chief General Manager A K Mathur told Deccan Herald: “So far, we have issued over 200 free concessional passes to people who have given details of their residence within five-kilometre radius of the toll plaza. We have also issued 700 passes at concessional rates to those who reside within 20-km radius. Many applications in the latter category have come to us seeking revision of rates. But nothing will be revised till things are finalised. Applications seeking passes under both the categories are increasing by the day.”

Five-km radius

The NHAI had agreed to give freeway to those residing within a five-kilometre radius of the toll plaza by issuing them passes. Under the concessional agreement, they had also decided to review the rates of the passes issued to those residing within a 20-km radius of the toll plaza.

The State government has sent a letter to the Centre and the NHAI seeking revision in the toll slabs so that locals and daily commuters are not burdened.

In the meantime, educational institutions in the vicinity are an ignored lot. Neither the government nor the NHAI has thought of students using the road to reach educational institutions located after the toll plaza, or even beyond Devanahalli. One such educational institution has raised objections.

A letter from Nagarjuna College of Engineering and Technology states, “After a revision of 350 per cent on the toll, the monthly toll for each college bus has increased to Rs 10,000 from Rs 3,000. The college has 15 buses, which ply every day to pick and drop students. This has burdened the students’ pockets.”

“Also, since the service road is not provided at all places, the buses are forced to ply on the toll road. The authorities are thus requested to give concession to school and college
buses.”

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