FASTag takes a toll on locals near KIA Road


Demand for service road near Trumpet interchange toll booth rises

Mandatory FASTag has renewed the demand for a service road near Trumpet interchange toll plaza on the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) road. In the last few weeks, farmers and locals have staged protests, demanding a toll-free service road in the area.

Anand Kumar, a resident of Devanahalli, explained, “It is an unfair deal for people who live around the area and have to cross the toll multiple times, even for short distances. We need a toll-free option and hence we are demanding a service road here.”

One of the protesting farmers said that of all the toll plazas of national highways connecting Bengaluru, the airport road toll, next to NICE Road, is the most expensive one. “With FASTag being made mandatory, we are now forced to pay the double toll. We urge the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to construct a toll-free service road, for the benefit of farmers,” he said.

Suggestions

Yeshwanth J, a techie, demanded that the NHAI follow the Nelamangala highway model. “At the Goraguntepalya junction, a toll-free service road makes way to the other side. There is no such option on the airport road,” he said.

There is no continuous service road on airport road because of land acquisition issues. We have a service road from Hebbal but that breaks off at the IAF campus

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–An NHAI official

Businesswoman Devika R said, “The NHAI is constructing a 10-lane road to Mysuru where the six-lane road will be access-controlled and tolled while there is an option of two-lane toll-free service roads on either side. We demand a similar toll-free service road here too.”

However, NHAI officials say that it is not possible to offer a toll-free road service road at this juncture. An official explained, “If we offer a service road, then everyone may use the service road and the concessionaire who has invested a huge amount will suffer severe losses.”

Another official said, “Unlike the other highways, there is no continuous service road on the airport road due to land acquisition issues. We have a service road from Hebbal which takes a break at the IAF campus as we could not acquire land due to the shortening of runway issues. So, at this juncture, every vehicle whether it is on the tolled road or service road merges with the highway and then the service road starts which ends just before the toll plaza. So, as there is no continuous service road, it is not possible to offer a toll-free road as of now.”



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Sagar Biswas

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