Manali: People driving to Manali on the Kullu Manali national highway will now have to pay more than double after the toll rates for the Dohlunala toll plaza have been hiked by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).
The price for a single entry to Manali to the popular holiday destination of the state, for small vehicle owners has been increased from Rs 35 to Rs 75 while the toll for a return journey will now be Rs 115 from earlier Rs 55.
Travellers who do not have FasTAG installed in their vehicles will have to pay twice as much. The new rates across vehicle categories are more than double of earlier rates.
New toll rates for Dohlunala toll plaza for a journey to Manali are-
Old toll for small vehicles (one-way trip): Rs 35New toll for small vehicles (one-way trip): Rs 75
Old toll for small vehicles (to-and-fro trip): Rs 55New toll for small vehicles (to-and-fro trip): Rs 115
New toll for LCV, LGV and mini vehicles (one-way trip): Rs 125New toll for LCV, LGV and mini vehicles (to-and-fro trip): Rs 190
New toll for double-axle vehicles (one-way trip): Rs 415New toll for double-axle vehicles (to-and-fro trip): Rs 620
New toll for oversized vehicles (one-way trip): Rs 505New toll for oversized vehicles (to-and-fro trip): Rs 755
Travellers, residents unhappy with steep toll hike
The people in the area were left tortured by the toll hike. The people here, in fact, did not want a toll plaza established here in the first place. They argue this as the road coming from the Kullu Gammon bridge towards Manali is not a four-lane but a two-lane highway.
Commuters have been paying the toll at the plaza for 2.5 years. It was reported. The Dohlunala toll plaza has also come under criticism as there are two tolls here within a distance of 30 kms. The other is the green tax barrier at Manali.
Objections were raised by the Four-lane Sangharsh Samiti with the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) over the toll rate hike. The Samiti’s president has reportedly said that they will form a plan at a meeting that will be held soon.
They have also urged the Kullu administration to get NHAI to reverse the hike in toll rates. Agitations have also been carried out against the move where people raised slogans and more could follow if the issue is not resolved soon.
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.