Udupi, Feb 04, 2017 : "Service roads and toll waiver for local vehicles, whose registration numbers start with KA 20, are the major demands of stakeholders. If our demands are met, we won’t have a problem if toll is collected," said Pratap Shetty, president, Udupi National Highway Jagriti Samiti.
"Navayuga Company is widening National Highway 66 in the district, from Hejmady to Kundapur. Most of the work is still pending. The highway has no place for locals to cross. There is no drainage facility. The water used here directly goes to a private property. The National Highway Jagriti Samiti is against collection of highway toll charges (from Kundapur to Kasargod) without providing facility for local people," he added.
Alvin Andre said, "The highway widening has ruined basic infrastructure like roads, drainage, streetlights, bus stands, rickshaw and taxi stands. We demand good service roads and other facilities. None of the junctions, especially at major points, has flyovers. The U-turns at Santhekatte and Katpadi are causing more accidents. These places must have an overbridge or an underpass. There are no footpaths on these stretches. Until these things are set right, we won’t allow toll to be collected."
Ravi, a farmer, said, "We got information that the toll will be collected from December 2. Later, it was postponed to January 31 midnight. We will oppose toll collection until we get proper facilities. Here, there’s an accident almost every other day. We need a service road."
"Constructing flyovers in important places like Ambalpady, Kota Murkai and Basrur Junction should be considered. Streetlight work is still pending at many places in Sasthan, Saligrama, Kota, Brahmavara and Katpady. Without these facilities, toll collection should not be allowed."
Vijay Kumar, project in-charge, NHAI, said, "Toll rates are linked to the Wholesale Price Index. As the deputy commissioner of Udupi is out of station, we have stopped collecting toll for two days. It could restart any time. Stakeholders may demand various thing. Most of the highway work is finished and will be completed by June."