RAJAHMUNDRY:The State Government is initiating steps to impose toll tax on the newly constructed bridge across river Godavari between Diwancheruvu and Kovvur. Whether the toll fee fixed in 2009 will be collected or the amount will be revised is the million dollar question.
Since the construction cost of the bridge escalated to Rs 950 crore from Rs 850 crore, Gammon India, the contract company, is proposing to revise the toll rates. Given the situation, there is a possibility of the government giving its nod to the proposal.
As per the amount fixed in 2009, a toll fee of Rs 36 is collected for a car, Rs 53 for light vehicles, Rs 107 for bus/other vehicles and Rs 155 for heavy vehicles.
At present, vehicles are moving without autorisation on the bridge, which has been constructed to ease the traffic movement on the Road-cum-Rail Bridge and also on the National Highway-16, between Diwancheruvu and Vijayawada.
It is estimated that as many as 30,000 vehicles would pass through the new bridge, for it reduces the distance between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada by 50 km.
As the new bridge will shortly be opened for public, the government has set aside taking up permanent repairs to the Road-cum-Rail Bridge.
It already undertook temporary repairs during Godavari Maha Pushkarams with an estimated cost of Rs 2 crore.
According to the roads and buildings officials, a decision on toll tax will be taken soon, after which the bridge will be inaugurated.