Those bound for airport to pay higher toll on way back

The collection of toll on NH 7 (Bangalore-Bellary Road) near the trumpet interchange of the Bengaluru International Airport might resume anytime with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) saying that the State Government has given the go ahead.

NHAI suspended the toll collection in last April following widespread protest by taxi operators and the resultant rampage. Subsequently, the State Government asked NHAI to stop the collection saying it had no permission.

A.K. Mathur, Chief General Manager, NHAI, Karnataka and Goa, told The Hindu the concessionaire is in the process of repairing damaged toll booths and will commence toll collection anytime after the booths are ready. Responding to protests by taxi operators associations, he said the issue had been discussed in detail at different levels of the Union and State Governments and only then was the decision to resume toll collection taken.

Considering taxi operators' concern over the delay in reaching the airport while waiting at toll booths, the NHAI has asked the concessionaire to collect toll only from returning vehicles.

This is to ensure that those rushing to catch a flight are not delayed. These vehicles will pay 1.25 times more than the others. Mr. Mathur said. Separate toll booths for airport-bound vehicles are getting ready for the purpose.

On the other hand, vehicles bound towards Hyderabad will pay the normal toll at a separate toll plaza.

A permanent toll plaza will be constructed before the works on widening of NH 7 and elevated highway are completed, he said.

As far as toll rates are concerned, Mr. Mathur said they will be the same as were declared earlier.