M'lore-B'lore travel costs dear, thanks to 6 toll booths

M'lore-B'lore travel costs dear, thanks to 6 toll booths

KSRTC Mangalore division spends approximately ` 55,000 as toll fee, daily

A journey from Mangalore to Bangalore is not so smooth and rosy for the commuters these days. People are now forced to bear the cost of enjoying the luxury of plying on better roads. With six toll plazas set up on this route, paying toll fee has taken toll on the pockets of commuters and vehicle owners.

The route had only three toll gates a few months ago, but with the setting up of new toll gates, one each in Brahmarakootlu near B C Road, Shanthigram and Hirisave in Hassan district, vehicles bound to Bangalore from Mangalore and vice versa need to shell out more penny, which has added to the already existing burden of sky-rocketing fuel price.

This, has made the KSRTC and private bus owners to shift the extra load on the passengers by hiking the ticket price.

The vehicles have to stop to pay toll fee right from the first toll gate in Brahamarakootlu, where the toll fee was recently revised, and it is followed by Shanthigram, Hirisave, Bellur Cross, Kunigal (Bhatrahalli) and the last toll gate at Nelamangala. All in all, a four wheeler owner has to cough up Rs 196 for a single trip, while the buses have to shell out a toll charge of Rs 540. 

On the 347 km-long stretch from Mangalore to Bangalore, buses on an average spend Rs 1.55 per kilo metre as toll fee, while four wheelers pay 0.56 paise per km. The amount paid is quite high on 178 km Hassan - Bangalore stretch as the highway has five toll gates. If the buses shell out Rs 2.61 per km on an average on Hassan-Bangalore highway, the toll amount paid by four wheelers is 0.93 paise per km.

“Toll plazas are installed unscientifically, with some plazas located at a very near distance and the  fee is levied erratically. For example, two plazas at Hirisave and Bellur Cross are located at a distance of 15 kms, wherein commuters have to pay Rs 35 and Rs 38 respectively. This is nothing but a burden on general public,” said Shekhar Shetty, a regular commuter.

Toll hits KSRTC

As for as KSRTC is concerned, the buses get no concession for toll payment. Mangalore Divisional Traffic Officer Chandrashekhar said that 80 KSRTC buses ply from Mangalore to Bangalore everyday. Of these buses, around 35 buses make the return trip on the same day, hence they get the concession for roundtrip.

Consolidated fee for roundtrip after concession in six toll gates is Rs 812, per bus. The KSRTC Mangalore division daily spends approximately Rs 55,000 as toll fee for the buses plying from Mangalore to Bangalore.

As many as 56 KSRTC buses ply to Bangalore from Puttur division, everyday.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Nagarika Hitharakshana Vedike President Hanumanth Kamath said that growing number of toll booths have become an irritant to people. “We do not demand to stop toll collection, but it is more logical to minimise the toll amount and extend the toll collection period.

Though, they fix a deadline for toll collection, say for about 20 years, there are no instances of the toll plaza getting closed after the collection target is achieved. Let the contractors recover the amount spent on the road construction along with the interest rate, but let them not reap huge profit out of it, at the cost of layman,” he said.

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