Mangaluru, July 14, 2019: From Tuesday, there will be no relaxation for private vehicles registered in Mangaluru from paying toll at the Surathkal National Highway toll plaza. The Action Committee Against Surathkal Toll Gate has demanded that the district administration intervene and allow private vehicles of local residents to ply on the national highway without paying toll at Surathkal. Meanwhile, BJP MLA Dr Y Bharath Shetty has said that he will lead a protest against the decision of collecting toll from local vehicles.
Private vehicles with KA19 registration were unofficially exempted from paying toll at the Surathkal toll plaza on NH-66. However, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has announced that they will also have to pay the prescribed toll from Tuesday. NHAI officials claim that the authority is suffering losses due to not collecting toll from local vehicles.
Hence, cars with KA19 registration will also have to pay Rs 25 for one-way transit. Meanwhile, the toll is Rs 50 for other vehicles. A monthly pass will be issued for Rs 265 for vehicles of those residing within a 20 km radius of the toll plaza. Based on a complaint from NHAI, the state chief secretary too has directed the district administration to facilitate collection of toll and provide police security too.
DYFI state president Muneer Katipalla, who is representing the Action Committee Against Surathkal Toll Gate, said the committee will oppose the NHAI’s move to collect toll from local vehicles. “The district administration should take the initiative to shut down the toll plaza, which is collecting toll illegally. The toll plaza at Surathkal, which was opened on a temporary basis, still continues to operate, even though another toll collection point is functional just 9km away at Hejmadi. Though there was a plan to merge the Surathkal toll plaza with the one at Hejmadi, it has not been implemented,” Muneer said.
Mangaluru City North MLA Bharath Shetty said the BJP will commence a mass protest if local vehicles are forced to pay toll at Surathkal. “The district administration should bring the issue to the notice of officials of the state and central governments. I will lead a protest if toll collection from local vehicles is done forcefully,” he added.
Courtesy: Times of India