Concrete barricades laid to curb toll evasion on Expressway
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Concrete barricades laid to curb toll evasion on Expressway

August 22, 2023

With barriers at entry, exit points, vehicles have no alternative but to reach Toll Plaza

Srirangapatna: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has initiated a proactive solution to address the escalating issue of toll evasion on the Access Controlled Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway.

This is being accomplished through the installation of concrete barricades at various entry and exit points along the service roads and the main carriageway.

Since the commencement of toll collection at three Toll Plazas located in Gananguru (Srirangapatna taluk), Sheshagirihalli (Ramanagara) and Kaniminike (Bidadi), a persistent problem has emerged.

Many vehicles have exploited the absence of barricades on certain stretches to bypass Toll Plazas, leading to a significant loss in toll revenues.

Currently, the toll rates stand at Rs. 485 for same-day return journeys and Rs. 630 after 24 hours, imposing considerable financial strain on motorists. To circumvent toll payment, drivers heading from Mysuru to Bengaluru opt to divert their route before Gananguru, subsequently rejoining the Expressway via the service road near Thoobinakere.

A similar evasion tactic is employed at Kaniminike, involving a leftward deviation towards the service road near Satya Apartments. For a span of roughly 10 kms, vehicles easily navigate this route before reconnecting with the main road, gaining access to Bengaluru city prior to the NICE Road junction.

In a concerted effort to combat toll evasion, the NHAI is installing cement barriers at critical entry and exit points. This measure aims to effectively close off unauthorised routes, compelling all vehicles to adhere to the stipulated toll payment protocol by passing through designated Toll Plazas.

Barricades from Mysuru side

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The installation process for these cement barriers involves use of cranes to position blocks at selected locations. Yesterday, cement blocks were laid near Srirangapatna, specifically on the Mysuru side near Hallimane Restaurant, where entry and exit points exist on both sides of the Expressway.

Similarly, the exit point in Srirangapatna from Mandya side, near Gowripura (Shettihalli), has been securely sealed off, leaving vehicles with no choice but to proceed to the Toll Plaza. By effectively closing off these access points, the NHAI aims to eliminate the viability of toll evasion and ensure that all vehicles contribute to toll revenues.

NHAI sources have pointed out that convenient openings exist near Srirangapatna, Mandya, Maddur, Channapatna, and Ramanagara, allowing entry and exit from the service road parallel to the Expressway. This arrangement has proved advantageous for vehicle users and many have been utilising these points to bypass toll collection.

This practice has resulted in a significant reduction in revenue, with even KSRTC buses taking advantage of these routes to evade toll charges. An officer stated on condition of anonymity, “We are sealing such unauthorised entry and exit points.”

When asked about the inconvenience to villagers who usually take these routes, the officer said that villagers have been provided designated entry and exit points and these routes will not be barricaded. However, many commuters who have been using unbarricaded stretches till now were seen arguing with NHAI staff this morning as their convenient routes have been blocked.

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