Truckers, motorists to protest at Sriperumbudur toll plaza on June 27 if rates are not reduced
Truckers, mini-van operators, travel operators, and residents will participate in a protest on June 27 at Sriperumbudur protesting the high rate of toll fee collected at the toll plaza operated by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
A month ago, the rates at this plaza, one of the five on the Chennai Bangalore Highway, were increased. Ever since, drivers of heavy vehicles are seen arguing with toll operators at the plaza.
The number of trips for a monthly pass has been limited and the system of a daily pass with multiple trips has been done away with, said R. Sukumar, president, Confederation of Surface Transport, Tamil Nadu.
“There are no facilities for motorists and pedestrians on the road. There is no ambulance available in case of emergencies. This portion of the road has not been widened, and no underpasses or over passes have been constructed. They just collect the money,” he said.
Various associations have written to NHAI asking them to revert to the old rates. If the rates are not reduced, the associations will go on a strike on June 27 following which they plan to discontinue plying on the road.
The situation is no different at other toll plazas across the city, say motorists. In a recent meeting with NHAI, the State government, too, had raised the issue of high toll rates.
Around Chennai alone, there are four toll plazas — at Sriperumbudur, Paranur near Chengalpet, Vanagaram on the Chennai bypass and Karanodai on NH5 — managed by the NHAI. There is also one at Athur between Tambaram and Tindivanam.
There has been a steady increase in toll rates at each of these plazas. For instance, in 2004-05, the annual collection at Vanagaram toll plaza was Rs. 4.2 crore and by 2011-12, this increased to Rs. 25 crore. The toll plaza at Paranur earned Rs. 9.9 crore in 2005-06 and more than tripled it in 2011- 2012 with Rs. 29.5 crore.