Mysore/Mysuru: Following a severe backlash from the general public over the decision of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to hike the toll fee on the newly opened Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway by 22 percent (on 59-km Nidaghatta-Bengaluru section), the NHAI has revoked the order in the same speed.
B.T. Sridhar, Project Director of NHAI, told SOM this morning that ‘the order on hiking the toll on Mysuru-Bengaluru Expressway, that was to come into effect from today (Apr. 1, 2023) has been withdrawn and the old tariff of toll will continue to be in force.’
Moreover, as the State is already on election mode, with Assembly polls scheduled for May 10, the BJP-led Central Government appears to have woken up, even before things went awry. Any anti-public move further may prove costly to the BJP-led State Government, that is already in an embattled position.
According to the previous order issued by NHAI, the revised toll that was scheduled to be effective from today was as follows:
One-way journey in car, van and jeep – Rs. 165 (increased by Rs.30); Two-way journey – Rs. 250 (hiked by Rs.45)
LMV, mini bus – Rs. 270 (hiked by Rs. 50; Two-way journey – Rs. 405 (hiked by Rs. 75); Truck, bus (2-axle) – Rs. 565 (hiked by Rs. 165); Two-way journey – Rs. 850 (hiked by Rs.160) 3-axle commercial vehicle- Rs. 615 (hiked by Rs.115); Two-way journey- Rs. 925 (hiked by Rs. 225).
Heavy construction machinery/ earth moving equipment/ MAV (4 to 6 axle) – Rs.885 (hiked by Rs.165); Two-way journey-Rs.1,330 (hiked by Rs. 250).
Oversized vehicles (7 or more axle) – Rs.1, 080 (hiked by Rs. 200); Two-way journey – Rs. 1,620 (hiked by Rs.305).
Though the works remain incomplete on the total stretch of the Expressway, toll was introduced amid heavy protests from Mar.14, but the increase in toll by 18 days, a rise of 22 percent had yet again evoked sharp criticism from all the quarters.
Even Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha was unhappy with the decision to hike the toll within a short span and had written to the Ministry concerned to revoke the decision at least for now.
“As per prevailing norms, the toll is revised at all the Expressways in the country, at the beginning of new financial year. Accordingly, the toll is revised on Mysuru- Bengaluru Expressway too, which has turned into a bane. I have written to the Ministry and the response is awaited,” Simha had said while reacting to the decision to hike the toll.