Karkala, Oct 06, 2018: The local unit janata of the BJP staged a protest against the proposed toll plaza on Karkala- Padubidri State Highway at Belman in Karkala taluk on October 5, Friday.
Addressing the protestors, V. Sunil Kumar, Karkala MLA and BJP leader, said there was no point in the Public Works Department deciding to collect toll from vehicles at Belman.
The toll plaza was expected to come up near the Government Pre-University College at Belman on the Karkala- Padubidiri State Highway and become functional from October 15.
A vehicle coming from Mangaluru to the educational hub of Nitte in Udupi district would have to pay toll at three places – Surathkal, Hejmady, and at the proposed toll gate at Belman, he said.
The foundation stone for the four-laning of the 28-km Padubidri– Karkala stretch of the State Highway Number 1 was taken up in 2012, when the BJP was in power.
The entire amount for the construction of this stretch had been borne by the State government. “How then can toll be imposed on vehicles on this stretch? The government is imposing toll to shore up revenues as its exchequer is empty. The government should withdraw its decision to collect toll here,” Mr. Kumar said.
Reshma Uday Shetty, Uday Kotian, Sumit Shetty, BJP Zilla Panchayat members, Malini J. Shetty, President of Karkala Taluk Panchayat, were among those present at the protest.
Meanwhile, voluntary organizations from 27 villages surrounding Belman village will stage a protest on the same issue at Belman on October 7.
Belman is a junction, where roads coming from Shirva, Karkala- Nitte, Mundkur and Padubidri meet. The people from the surrounding villages visit Belman often for different reasons. They fear that they would have to pay toll every time they drive to Belman and return.