Thanks, no rise in toll now

Thanks, no rise in toll now

Thanks, no rise in toll now

A marginal hike in the toll was planned on the road to the airport from April 1, but that is on hold for about two months.

R K Suryawanshi, project director, National Highways Authority of India, says the increase will come into effect only if the police promise protection from public anger.

"We have requested police protection, but we have not got any clearance or support from them, perhaps because elections are coming up. The hike is a part of the concessionaire agreement and has our approval as well as that of the state government. We just need support from the police," says Suryawanshi.

This hike, he says, is routine and is revised annually in keeping with the WPI (Wholesale Price Index).

"It is a BOT (build-operate-transfer) project and the concessionaire period is 20 years. It started in 2011 and will continue until 2031, and the toll will depend on the WPI," says Suryawanshi.

Amaranath Reddy, Project Director, Navayuga Devanahalli Tollway Pvt Ltd, says, "On an average, 52,000 vehicles in all categories use this toll gate. We are waiting for the police department to implement the increase."

"The toll for light motor vehicles heading to the airport, now Rs 85 for one way, will remain the same. For a to and fro trip, it will go up to Rs 130 from Rs 125. The monthly pass fares have also been revised," he says.

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"Bengaluru has the longest tolled road to the airport in the country, accounting for the highest charges. We ought to have planned other road options to the airport when it was planned a decade ago. Not doing it was myopic planning at the outset."

He says a concessionaire agreement is signed on the basis of assumed vehicular traffic over time. "A fair agreement would have a clawback option to renegotiate the time, based on actual volumes. If the traffic is much higher than forecast, Bengalureans could benefit from tollfree travel at an earlier date," he explains.

52,000: Vehicles use tollway every day (According to operators)
2031: The year when the road will be handed back to government.

Quote: Can the government step in and bring down the toll rates at any given time? "Well, I see it another way. I would prefer it if the government brought down the period rather than the toll rates per se."


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