Move to start Bhatkal-Shiroor toll plaza opposed

Source: S.O. News Service | By Sajjad Qazi | Published on 30th October 2019, 5:32 PM | Coastal News | Don't Miss |

Bhatkal: A large number of people launched a campaign and staged protest near Shiroor toll plaza in Udupi district on Wednesday, urging the government to drop the plan to begin collecting the toll fees at the proposed toll plaza on Bhatkal-Shiroor highway. The protest, called by the 'Highway Horata Samiti' alleged that despite incomplete of national highway works, the IRB is planning of starting the toll collection.

They also urged for the exemption in the toll collection for the local vehicles.

They said, as there is an economic drop on the one side and the excess number of agricultural workers on the other, the government should drop the plan of collecting tolls from the locals. They threatened that the massive protest shall be launched if the tolls are collected from the local vehicles. They also demanded that the collection of tolls should be commenced only after the completion of highway works.

Preparations are underway to open the first toll gate in the Kundapur-Goa stretch in Shiroor. The toll plaza, which is said to begin in Shiroor, has forced hundreds of people in the region to pay tolls when they have to go to their agriculture lands from the houses. 

The Samiti stated that the Shiroor has become an important commercial area for the people surrounding 10 km of distance. The residents of Shiroor have to make their way towards Bhatkal for every small work, which is 7kms far. Therefore the citizens are demanding a mandatory exemption to the locals for 10 km range.

A few months ago, when there were rumours about the commencing of toll collection in the region, the Highway Horata Samiti had desked the issue in the meeting chaired with MP B.Y. Raghavendra. Highway officials were also requested to offer exemptions for local vehicles in the stretch of 10 km range. Responding to this, MP B.Y.  Raghavendra had told IRB company and Highway officials that the toll should not be started without completing the service roads.

They said that the company officials have sent a service road report and it should be sanctioned from the RO's office. The trial movement of traffic has also begun for a week.

The process is already underway.  The toll section is separate. The toll collection is likely to begin by 2 months, as the road work is almost completed. The decision of providing exemptions to the local vehicles completely up to the higher officials, said Yogendrappa, project manager of highway works.

In this regard, Bhatkal Assistant Commissioner Sajid Ahmed Mulla informed that to meet the demands of the locals, necessary actions will be initiated after chairing meet with national highway authorities and IRB officials.

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