CHENNAI: In a couple of months, motorists will have to shell out more to travel on National Highways (NH) in Tamil Nadu with six new toll gates coming up soon. As the State hands over four highway stretches, running for 312 km, to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for it to maintain, the number of toll gates in Tamil Nadu will rise from 48 to 54.
Two toll gates each will come up on the Vellore-Tiruvannamalai-Villupuram stretch (121 km) of NH 234 and Cuddalore-Virudhachalam-Salem section (92 km) of NH 532. Similarly, the Avinashi-Avinashi Palayam section (33 km) of NH 381, and Perambalur-Thanjavur section (66 km) of NH 226E will have one new gate each.
The roads, which were so far under the maintenance of the State Highways wing, have been developed into two and four lanes using funds from the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. “All the administrative procedures have been completed to hand over the roads to NHAI. The Union government has passed a gazette notification for toll collection at new gates on NH 226E.
Upon completing the pending road works, the gates will commence collection,” said an official from the highways department. The Union government, however, has not responded to the demand for closure of five toll gates on Chennai-Tiruchy, Chennai-Bengaluru, and Chennai bypass, the official added.
Official data accessed by TNIE revealed that over 1,800 km of roads in Tamil Nadu have been brought under NHAI’s maintenance in the last four years and have been converted into tolled roads. This, even as there has been an expansion in the road network, boosting industrial and real estate growth in the State.
‘More toll gates will increase transportation costs’
Until 2017, as much as 3,285 km of the total 5,324 km of NH passing through TN was maintained by the NHAI. However, as of August this year, about 5,134 km of NH have been brought under NHAI's maintenance.
"The rise in the number of NHAI-maintained roads will result in more toll gates in the State. Besides causing hardship for the locals, the gates will gradually increase the transportation costs too," said Murugan Venkatachalam, president of the All India Motor Transport Congress, Tamil Nadu.
TOLL GATE MAINTENANCE
TNRDC: 2 (on ECR & OMR)
TNRIDC: 3 (on Madurai Ring Road)
*Toll collection remain suspended at one of the NHAI toll gates near Pamban bridge since 2015
(TNRDC: Tamil Nadu Road Development Company; TNRIDC: Tamil Nadu Road Infrastructure Development Corporation)
Toll gates yet to be operational
TNRDC: 4 (on Outer Ring Road in Chennai)
Over 1,800 km taken over
Until 2017, as much as 3,285 km of the total 5,324 km of NH passing through TN was maintained by the NHAI. However, as of August 2021, it has risen to about 5,134 km