Mangaluru, Sep 07, 2018: Udupi Zilla Panchayat here on Sept 7, Thursday, was dominated by issues related to NH 66 and distribution of ration cards at the general body meeting.
Focusing on the issue, Janardhan Tonse, member, said that toll was being collected from the local vehicles, whose registration numbers started with KA 20. When the widening work of NH 66 from Hejmady to Kundapur in the district had not been completed, it was wrong to collect the toll, he said.
Reshma Shetty, member, said that it was wrong on the part of the Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt Ltd to collect toll from an inner road near Hejmady. Gitanjali Suvarna, said that the road belonged to the Fisheries Department and demanded to know who had permitted to collect the toll from the inner road.
Gururaj, independent consultant engineer, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that the road came within 30 metres of the NH 66.
The toll was being collected from the inner road as heavy vehicles were dodging the toll plaza at Hejmady resulting in loss of toll. This was done only after the State government allowed it, he said.
The members however demanded documents on this matter. When the documents related to it were submitted at the meeting, Mr. Gururaj was proved right.
Members then questioned if there could be two plazas within 30 kilometres distance at Hejmady and Surathkal.
The meeting was told that the toll plaza was installed under the port connectivity project and had nothing to do with the NHAI.
Member Reshma Shetty said that non-distribution and cancellation of ration cards was creating a lot of problem for people in rural areas. The Deputy Director of Food and Civil Supplies said that nearly 6,000 applications for the ration cards had been rejected. Linking Aadhaar to the ration cards was a must, he said.
Marali Pratap Hegde, member, said that when the Assembly elections were nearing, all applications were accepted by the Department, but now they were being rejected.
The meeting was informed that the damages to properties in the district due to heavy rains was estimated at Rs. 140 crore. Sumeet Shetty, member, said that compensation given to those whose fields and properties had been lost, was low. Shivanand Kapashi, ZP CEO, informed the meeting that the government had released Rs. 18.5 crore to the district for damages due to heavy rains.
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