KOCHI:Amidst strong protests from commuters, toll collection at the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) Road will begin from Thursday. At the time of going to the press, the authorities concerned were sticking to the stand that toll will be collected at the booth constructed in Ponnarimangalam from vehicles travelling through the road, which is part of the National Highway. The collection would begin from Wednesday midnight, they said. The Container Road between Kalamassery and Vallarpadam has a total length of 17.2 kilometres.
The Container Road is one of the most preferred roads as commuters use it to escape the heavily-congested city roads. Owing to the ongoing Metro Rail construction work, commuters find it a herculean task to travel from Marine Drive to Kalamassery through Banerjee Road. Hence, majority of the commuters deviate from the High Court to take the Container Road to reach Kalamassery and proceed towards Thrissur. The exorbitant rates, however, fixed by the authorities concerned for toll collection will be a major setback for the traffic diversion plans proposed for the City.
According to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the total cost of construction of the road was Rs 900 crore. The different rates of toll collection for various vehicles have also been announced.
Considering strong protests, the contractors - Mumbai Eagle India Infra Limited - have sought police protection to launch the collection of toll. They also said that the toll rates will be reduced by 40 per cent, once the production cost is covered.
At present, the rates finalised for travelling through the road is Rs 45 for cars, jeeps and vans for one-way trip. For a two-way journey, these vehicles will have to pay Rs 65.
For mini buses, toll collected will be Rs 70 for a one-side trip while it will cost Rs 105 for a two-way journey. The one-side toll rate for buses and trucks is Rs 145, while two-way journey will cost Rs 215. For heavy commercial vehicles, the toll rates have been fixed at Rs 160 for a single trip and Rs 255 for a two-way trip. Meanwhile, for the vehicles which are not used for commercial purposes and owned by locals residing within 20-km radius of the toll plaza, a fixed sum of Rs 230 will have to be paid every month for travelling through the road.
For the vehicles that are registered with the Ernakulam RTO, subsidised rates will be charged. The rates are Rs 20 for car, jeeps and vans, Rs 35 for mini buses and Rs 70 for trucks and buses.