Come December 5 and vehicles plying between Mangalore and Kalladkka on the national highway 73 (formerly NH 48) will have to pay user fee at two places.
In addition to the user fee now being collected at Panemangalore on the highway, the vehicles will have to pay the fee at a new toll plaza to be opened at Brahmarakootlu.
The distance between the two toll plazas is about four k.m. Hence vehicles plying between Mangalore-Uppinangady, Mangalore-Puttur-Sullia and Mangalore-Vitla would have to pay the fee at two places.
Mangalore Division of the National Highways, under the State Public Works Department, has been collecting the user fee at Panemangalore (between B. C. Road and Kalladkka) since May, 2003 for building a new bridge across the Nethravathi.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), under the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, would collect the at Brahmarakootlu (between B. C. Road and Mangalore) for widening the 18 k.m. stretch between B. C. Road and Mangalore (Maroli) under the Port Connectivity Project. According to Shriram Mishra, Project Director, NHAI, Mangalore Project Office, the fee at Brahmarakootlu would be in force for the next 30 years.
C. Natraj, Executive Engineer, Mangalore Division of the National Highways, said that according to a government order the fee collection at Panemangalore had been allowed on ‘perpetuity’ (forever) basis.
He said that of Rs. 37.73 crore of the bridge cost (at Panemangalore), Rs. 13.87 crore had been collected till November 23, 2013 as user fee.
Mr. Natraj said that he had written to the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways not to have two toll plazas within a four k.m. distance as it would be a burden on the people. He would be visiting Delhi within a week to take up this issue.
The fee for light motor vehicles (car, jeep, van) at Panemangalore for one-way journey stood at Rs. five and for two-way journey Rs. 10. The fee for light commercial vehicles and mini buses stood at Rs. 15 and Rs. 20, respectively, and for buses, trucks and multi-axle vehicles it stood at Rs. 20 and Rs. 30, respectively.
From December 5, a one-way journey from Mangalore to Uppinangady for light motor vehicles would cost Rs. 25 and return journey on the same day would cost Rs. 35.