If you are one of those who commute between Red Hills and Tambaram on the Chennai Byepass elevated road, you are likely to pay more soon.
Along with the annual rate revision that would be implemented from that date, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will bring another 18 km of the road under tolling.
Till now, only one toll plaza has been operational near Maduravoyal, where a ‘four-leaf clover’ grade separator allows access to those getting off and on to the access-controlled road.
Vehicles till now had to pay only for using one section of the road as the road had not become fully operational at the time of commencement of tolling a few years ago.
Another toll plaza has come up near Puzhal and is likely to soon become operational. “We are providing the option of paying for half the way or full road or two way at both the plazas,” explained a source.
The operation, maintenance and tolling (OMT) of this road like eight others in the State, including ones in Kanyakumari, Saalai Pudur, Kappalur that were built and are being operated with Government of India funds, are being handed over to contractors. This is the first road to be handed over to a concessionaire for OMT for a period of nine years.
The road provides connectivity to four major national highways — the NH 205 (Chennai-Tirupati), NH 4 (Chennai-Bangalore), NH5 and NH 45. In February alone, a total of 3.67 lakh vehicles used the road and the collection from tolling was around Rs. 2.84 crore.
Lakshmi Rajangam, a resident of Vanagaram, who commutes to Sholinganallur, says she prefers this road as it takes her under 30 minutes to reach Tambaram from Maduravoyal. “I have a monthly pass and by taking this road I avoid a lot of unnecessary traffic. The only issue is, in the evenings there is a long wait at the toll plaza. Sometimes it takes up to half an hour at the plaza. Toll collection could be improved,” she said.