Service road to KIA not mandatory: NHAI

 The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has submitted an affidavit to the High Court of Karnataka stating that it was not mandatory for it to construct a service road along the National Highway-7 leading to Kempegowda International Airport.

The affidavit, filed in connection with two PILs challenging the recent increase in toll rates, states that the State government’s approval order dated January 15, 2009 making compulsory construction of a two-lane service road up to the trumphet junction is not valid.

The affidavit, signed by Surendra Kumar, Project Director, NHAI, states: “The petitioners seem to have a misconception that providing service road is a mandatory requirement to levy user fee. As per the User Fee Rules, 2008, and the concession agreement, three-wheelers, tractors and animal-drawn vehicles are prohibited from using the main carriage way, permanent bridge, bypass and tunnel, where service road or alternative road is available and the user fee cannot be charged from such transport if the service road is not provided.”

Referring to the conditions imposed the State government, which provide for service road and toll-free movement of vehicles of local people, the NHAI says, “None of the conditions stipulated therein requires providing of service road which is free from user fee.”

Stating that the service road is incomplete at certain stretches at Airforce area near Yelahanka and near rail over bridge at Bettahalsur due to non-availability of land, the affidavit says that the same has been communicated in the pre bid meetings. 

"Service roads have been provided as per the concession agreement except where there was an issue of availability of land and delay in issuance of caution order by the Railway authority," the affidavit says.

The affidavit also says that the personal and non commercial vehicles living within 20 kms radius from toll plaza are not charged user fees, the NHAI has said that the residents have to avail a monthly pass of Rs 250 to avail this service. It has also denied the allegations that the user fee collection is illegal, as the fee is collected as per the agreement. 

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