Two-wheelers and vehicles of residents along the stretch exempted
CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Road Development Corporation (TNRDC) will start collecting toll on Rajiv Gandhi Salai (formerly Old Mahabalipuram Road) from Sunday midnight.
The charges would be Rs.6 for three-wheelers, Rs.17 for cars/jeeps, Rs.28 for light commercial vehicles, Rs.44 for buses, Rs.66 for trucks and Rs.132 for multi-axle vehicles. Two-wheelers are exempted.
The toll is for vehicles using the phase–I of Rajiv Gandhi Salai-Madhya Kailash junction–Siruseri. Apart from the main plaza and the exit plaza at Navalur having six lanes, satellite toll plazas have come up at Thoraipakkam on the Pallavaram Road, at Medavakkam and on the ECR Link Road.
Residents living in areas along the stretch using vehicles registered in their names for non-commercial use are also exempted. Trip-based prepaid passes would be available in the form of smart cards and On-Board Units (OBUs) that need to be placed in vehicles.
On an average each day, a total of 20,000 cars, 7,500 autorickshaws, including share autos, 3,000 LCVs, 3,000 buses, 2,500 trucks, and 30,000 two-wheelers pass through the main toll plaza at Perungudi that has 10 lanes.
The TNRDC has through a special purpose vehicle, IT Expressway Ltd, improved the 20.1-km stretch and manages it.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Principal Secretary to the Highways Department K.Allaudin, Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation Chairman, and Managing Director S. Ramasundaram and TNRDC Managing Director K.R.Viswanathan said a total of Rs.290 crore was spent on developing the road.
Increase in the raw material cost led to the project cost escalating from Rs.134 crore when it was launched in 2005.
The officials said the escalated costs had not been reflected on the toll rates.
Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi dedicated the upgraded 20.1-km-long road at a function in October.
Though the main carriageway has been completed, work on ducts, stormwater drains, foot overbridges and service lanes is yet to be completed.
On the stretch between the SRP Tools junction and Siruseri, no space has been provided for pedestrians and parking of vehicles.
Many residents said the collection of the toll should start only on completion of the road in all aspects.
Work on Phase II of the Rajiv Gandhi Salai spread over 25.2-km stretch from Siruseri to Poonjeri is expected to commence in a year. Land acquisition work has already commenced, the officials said.