HYDERABAD: Driving on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) from April 1 is going to be a costly affair as Hyderabad Growth Corridor Limited (HGCL) — a wing of Hyderabad Metropolitan Authority (HMDA) — has decided to revise the annual toll rates on ORR by around 10 per cent. As per the rules, base rates have to be revised every financial year with effect from April 1. Last year, HMDA had dropped the revision of ORR toll for 2017-18 in view of the 50 per cent increase in the toll being levied on different categories of vehicles from February 15, 2017 on the 156.5 km completed stretch.
At present, as many as 70,000 to 75,000 vehicles pass through the toll plazas at — Kokapet, Edulanagulapally, Patancheru, Sultanpur, Saragudem, Medchal (Kandlakoya), Shameerpet, Keesara, Ghatkesar, Taramatipeti, Pedda Amberpet, Bongulur, Raviryal, Thukkuguda, Pedda Golconda, Shamshabad, Rajendranagar, TSPA and Nanakramguda — covering a distance of 156.5 km. HGCL officials said that as per the rules, Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MAUD) department, a few years ago, had given the nod for the revision by incorporating necessary provisions in the ORR clause 5 (annual revision of rates of fee or toll) permitting HGCL to increase the rate every year.
The rule says the applicable base rates shall be revised annually with effect from April 1 each year to reflect the increase in Wholesale Price Index by the HGCL over the rates notified.
The revision of user fee for the ORR, every year, is based on the rates prescribed in the National Highway Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008, issued by the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highway. On the ORR stretches, the toll is calculated for specific length of travel and even the new pricing would continued to be rounded off to the nearest `10. They said collection toll is meant to meet the Operation and Maintenance expenditure of ORR apart from serving the requirements of loan repayment and annuity payments etc.
Officials said that when compared to National Highways, ORR differs significantly, primary differences being that NHAI has four-lane roads which provide free access to all the side roads without any access control, adopt open tolling on their roads where toll charges are collected based on the category of vehicle crossing the toll gate irrespective of the length of travel on four lane road.However, ORR is a uniform eight lane access controlled expressway with paved shoulders, complete greenfield construction. Access to ORR is only through interchanges.