Wednesday , 10 August 2022
The new toll plaza on the Bangalore airport highway. This picture does not reflect the massive traffic jam on just the other side of this toll plaza.

Bangalore airport highway toll quadrupled. Disruptions expected.

Navayuga Devanhalli Tollway Pvt. Ltd., the company responsible for collecting toll on the airport highway has almost quadrupled the tolls charged for the highway to Bangalore airport.

The toll for cars has been hiked from Rs. 30 by almost 400% to Rs. 115. This is creating outrage amongst all the cabbies who are running to and from the airport. Most of the cabbies are stopping at the toll booth and refusing to pay the new rates. This situation is creating massive traffic jams at the toll booths. Strikes and disruption of service is expected as the cabs intensify their stir.

Airport Highway Toll Ticket
The toll ticket showing the new toll rate.

I pulled into the second lane at the new toll plaza and there were two taxis in front of me, I then stood at the toll plaza for the next 20 minutes while the two cab drivers argued booth operator. Only after I got out of the car and shouted at them to move their cars to the side and let others go did the cops sitting all around the booth intervene, it looked to me like both the cab drivers were let through the booth without paying the toll.

Airport taxi drivers fighting with toll booth operators over the hike in toll. Even the private Indicab driver (right) was fighting with the booth operator.
Airport taxi drivers fighting with toll booth operators over the hike in toll. Even the private Indicab driver (right) was fighting with the booth operator.

This seemed to be a recurring theme at all the booths, every cab driver was refusing to pay the new toll rates. The cops stationed at the booths don’t really seem to be interested in the jam that these guys are creating.

A puzzling part of this whole story is that the road has not even been fully completed, things like the widening of the road under the railway tracks have not been done, so how are they being allowed to increase the toll without finishing the road?

Magic boxes lying on the side of the unfinished road.
Magic boxes lying on the side of the unfinished road.
Magic boxes lying on the side of the unfinished road.
Magic boxes lying on the side of the unfinished road.

A Rs. 115 toll on a road of just about 25 kms seems to be massively overpriced to me. That works out to a little less than Rs. 5 per KM. Considering the high airport user development fees and even more exorbitant road taxes that we pay on our cars, which is collected by the government to supposedly build and maintain roads, why are such massive tolls being allowed?

Do you think the new pricing is fair? Or are you also outraged? Share your thoughts via a comment.

About Vedant Agarwal

A frequent flyer for both work and pleasure - Vedant has held elite status on many of the major alliances and airlines. Also an avid aviation photographer, his pictures have been published in and on the covers of many international publications.

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4 comments

  1. This is really soo high.
    Why people has to pay such a high toll.
    Also increasing from 30 to 115????????
    On what basis government is allsing such an increase.

  2. We only see the problem when it starts to affect us. But there are other questions to be asked instead of seeing it as fair or unfair. Since we are in a system, fair or unfair doesnt make sense. Ultimate question: Is it legal or not ? If it is legal who signed the agreement that makes this increase legal? Govt. official or Politician? Agreement obligations on both sides? That would create a legal basis for some one to fight against it.

    All these projects are not interlinked like the airport, public roads and toll roads. UDF covers only Airport project. Road tax that we pay covers only public roads. Tolls only cover the purpose built roads with private partnership.

    • @xinghoney:disqus, I think what Vedant was trying to point out was considering that we already pay a near 30% road tax on our cars, why is there a need for PPP in building highways? And also petrol is taxed with the same reasoning.

      And if the excuse is that this is a special road for the airport then why is the UDF which is also insanely high at PPP airports being used for this also? But it is not a special road only to the airport.

      Considering that tolls on highways work out to about 50-75p a KM for the Golden Quad, then on what basis is Rs 5 a KM acceptable on this road? This is the same tax air users rubbish all over again.

      • All I am saying is that the timing of the argument was wrong. It is all documented in contracts which were available to public from the day of the agreement at least through RTI. Legal or Illegal is what matters? All your calculations do not make a legal case. They can easily show up the cost per km of Golden quad and cost per km of this road were very much different.
        Road tax on cars is not sufficient for these inflated project costs at all levels. Road Tax collected will be spent on all roads across the state not just in Bangalore. See the tender documents available on the web, Per km road laying cost runs from Rs. 6 Cr to 25 Cr based on the number of lanes, lane speed and amenities. We can club things together to argue and raise voice about, but legally all are separate and its a difficult legal case for the customers.