Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Expressway toll hike unfair: Trade bodies

Expressway toll hike unfair: Trade bodies

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Federation of Kar nataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and Bommasandra Industries Association have opposed the hike in the toll rates for the Hosur Road elevated expressway and said they were planning a protest soon. Bengaluru Elevated Toll Limited (BETL) which operates the expressway, had increased the toll from July 12. The rates have been increased from Rs 10 to Rs 15 for twowheelers and from Rs 30 to Rs 35 for four-wheelers.
General secretary of Bommasandra Industries Association R. Narendra Kumar said the hike was not acceptable when the facilities provided by BETL were not up to the mark. For instance, the authorities have not cared to install proper traffic control equipment despite imposing a huge toll fee. Measures would also have to be taken

to check speeding two wheelers which would otherwise result in fatal accidents, he said.
Another hindrance was the road width which was not enough to accommodate the large volume of vehicles now using the expressway."We agree that toll roads prevent illegal activity. This road however lacks surveillance cameras to keep a tab on the movement of vehicles and to ensure proper security. If these issues are addressed, the BETL authorities could hike the toll fee,” he said.

Members of the associa

tion have been chalking out strategies to fight the exorbitant hike. If the authorities are not willing to do this, they should at least implement the required safety measures, Mr Kumar said.
Concurring with him, president of FKCCI, N.S. Srinivasa Murthy said there was no need to hike the toll fee which was already too high.
The exorbitant toll fee has made motorists opt for the road below which is said to be relatively better and offers a free ride depriving the BETL of its share of revenue. When contacted, BETL general manager Brigadier M.R. Deshpande said the toll fee would be revised annually based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The hiked toll was reasonable, he said adding that many people had been using the road on week days.


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