Toll being paid by KSRTC up by nearly 50% in five years

Passengers bear the burden; KSRTC, BMTC are paying toll on a State highway too

November 26, 2018 01:13 am | Updated 11:10 am IST - Bengaluru

The portion of Kempegowda Bus Stand at Majestic that was closed for metro rail work, is now back with the KSRTC.

The portion of Kempegowda Bus Stand at Majestic that was closed for metro rail work, is now back with the KSRTC.

It’s not just private vehicle owners who are feeling the pinch of rising toll on highways, but passengers using public transport too as transport corporations have passed on the burden to them by increasing bus fares.

A Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) official said, “Five years ago, we were paying ₹45 crore annually and now it has gone up to over ₹67 crore. On all the highways, toll is subject to an upward revision every year and the burden gets transferred to the passengers.”

The KSRTC pays over ₹67 crore annually as toll, while the BMTC shells out ₹3.5 crore to ₹4 crore to ply its buses on toll roads such as Hosur Road, Tumakuru Road, and Ballari Road that connects to the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA).

“For instance, each BMTC bus plying via Sadahalli toll gate on Ballari Road pays over ₹800 as toll a day. The daily revenue of most of the buses on this route is ₹3,000 to ₹4,000, and a good part of it goes into paying the toll,” said a BMTC official.

Those using the State highways, too, now face the same problem. Both the KSRTC and the BMTC increased ticket price by ₹2 in Doddaballapura-bound buses around two months after the authorities opened toll gates on the route. Those travelling in over 300 BMTC buses and 75 KSRTC buses, including inter-State operations from Bengaluru to Hindupur, have been affected.

A BMTC official said, “This is the first time we are paying for the use of the State highway. It is high time the authorities exempted public transport from paying toll.”

Those living in and around Marasandra village on Ylahanka–Doddaballapur Road have been opposing toll collection. People have accused authorities of facilitating toll collection without completion of work and not providing a service road.

The KSRTC, which operates intra-State and inter-State buses, pays ₹18.41 lakh as toll a day. Of its 8,779-strong fleet, 5,150 buses have to pay the toll. Those plying on Bengaluru–Mumbai pay the highest the amount of toll, as there are 16 toll gates along the 1,080-km route.

Officials from both the KSRTC and the BMTC said they had in the past written to the authorities seeking exemption from paying toll in the interest of the public. However, their requests were denied on the grounds that their operations have commercial interest.

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