Taking a toll on the roads


Heavy vehicles find it difficult to pass through the narrow lanes on NH 7 because of the toll booths

According to many, making the Bangalore International Airport Road a toll road is not a good move by the government. Hence, there has been a lot of debate in the last few months. But even though toll collection has been suspended now, problems due to the existence of these booths continue to persist.

Says a spokesperson from the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), “Every road that has been proposed as a toll road has to have toll booths. And people cannot complain about there being an obstruction to traffic. The user fee is collected only for the maintenance of the roads which will benefit the people. And we will soon take a decision on when the toll collection will resume. In case we decide not to collect any fee, then we may remove the booths.” But until this decision is taken, people have to face the hassles of traffic congestion enroute to the airport. Metrolife speaks to few people who travel on that stretch about the inconvenience these booths cause them.

Vinay Kumar, a student of SRSIT says, “This causes a major hassle to the people who are on their way to the airport. The roads are not wide enough to accommodate a huge inflow of traffic because the booths take up most of the space. The large vehicles actually have a problem passing this check post.”

Even cab driver Raju has faced this problem every time he drives to the airport. He says, “When we pass these check posts, we actually have to slow down and then proceed. Though we do not have to pay any toll, we still have to st­op near the booths because the lanes are very narrow. So this place is always overcrowded. And in the case of big ve­hicl­es, the hassle is all the more.”

There are many others who share the opinion that travelling on this stretch is going to be more cumbersome than before. Says Giriprasad, “Making this a toll road has created more problems than before. And now that the booths are not functioning, they just don’t serve the purpose for which they were built. Most importantly, they will cause a lot of traffic jams and congestion. Travelling to the airport now will take twice as much time and people will have to leave a good four hours in advance. This is just not helpful for the people who are in a hurry to get somewhere.”

Says Sadhana Kiran, “The problem plaguing our government is that they lack the foresight on how things should be operated. Before going ahead with the construction of these booths, they should have known that traffic congestion is only going to worsen. Moreover, what is the point of spending so much money and not doing anything? It is really ridiculous.”

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