Users of Outer Ring Road (ORR) will have to pay marginally hiked user charges from the next financial year. The hike, which is to come into force from April 2013, will be part of the prescribed National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) annual revision and has been described as very marginal. It would be effective at all toll plazas that are in place for the first phase of the ORR and also at those to be set up on the second phase stretch, which was opened for traffic recently. According to officials, the ‘very negligible hike’ would be to the tune of three paisa per km for cars and jeeps, four paisa per km for mini-buses and light commercial vehicles while buses would have to pay nine paisa more for every km travelled on the stretch. The highest hike of 13 paisa happens to be for the four to six axle trucks.
The toll rates for ORR were fixed following the user fee structure prescribed by NHAI and as per the formula incorporated, an annual hike of around three per cent would be implemented. “It is very negligible. Anyway, since we follow the practice of rounding up the user fee to nearest Rs.10, the hike might not be felt in most cases,” the official said. Meanwhile, no bids so far have been received by ORR authorities for tenders called for toll collection on the second phase of the stretch between Patancheru and Shamirpet. Last date for submission happens to be December 24. “No one has physically collected the documents so far, but there is a possibility of it having been downloaded by some. Even for the pre-bid meeting, only two persons turned up,” he said. The ORR authorities appear sceptical of a positive response to the tender call which closes in next three days. In case of absence of bids or inadequate response, the official added that they might be forced to extend the deadline.