Mangalore: User fee proposed for four-lane highway

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The Hindu

MANGALORE: A journey on the proposed four-lane National Highway between Mangalore and Udupi (about 60 km), if it gets ready by 2012, will cost Rs. 45 one way, by way of toll.

This is according to the draft agreement between the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the contractor, who will build the highway on BOT (build, own and transfer) basis. While the base charge for cars, jeeps, vans or light motor vehicles has been fixed at 65 paise a km, the contractor has been allowed to raise it at the rate of 3 per cent a year, without compounding.

Those planning a return trip will have to pay another 50 per cent of the one-way charge.

Since the charges will have to be rounded off to the nearest five rupees, the toll is likely to work out to Rs. 65. The return journey, however, will have to be made within 24 hours, according to the agreement. The base rate for buses is Rs. 2.2 a km. It works out to Rs. 132 for one way. For frequent travellers, a concession has been proposed.

The draft agreement provides for charging two-thirds of the cost of 50 or more one-way trips.

“Such discounted tickets shall entitle the specified vehicle to commute on the highway by using one ticket for a single one-way trip at any time during a period of one month from the date of payment of fee,” the draft agreement says.

Local users have been defined as those using vehicles for non-commercial purposes and residing within 20 km from the nearest toll plaza. Such users will get a monthly pass for Rs. 150 (base rate) for commuting on a section of the highway and for crossing the specified toll plaza. The contractor may not permit entry of local users, tractors, animal-drawn vehicles, three-wheelers and motorcycles on the highway, where a service road or alternative road is available.


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