Udupi: In spite of strong opposition from locals, the staff at Hejamady Toll Plaza have quietly prepared for collecting additional fees from vehicles, which has led to public outrage.
District MLAs, ministers, and local people’s representatives have vehemently opposed the collection of additional user charges for the merger of the Suratkal toll at Hejamady. However, neither the toll leasing company nor the National Highway Authority of India has paid any heed, which has further irked the public.
Union Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had assured to convene a special meeting on December 5 to discuss the issues pertaining to toll collection at Hejamady when MLA Raghupati Bhat had recently submitted a petition in this regard.
At a meeting held at the district headquarters, which was attended by NHAI officials, and people’s representatives including Udupi district in-charge minister S Angara, and State Energy Minister V Sunil Kumar among others, the district in-charge minister had suggested maintaining the status quo till the final decision is announced after discussing the matter with the chief minister.
However, the toll is being hiked from December 4 despite these instructions has further inviting the anger of the public.
Meanwhile, the action committee against Surathkal toll gate, which had terminated its agitation earlier this week, is gearing up to restart the protests against increased toll collection at the Hejamady toll plaza. A request has been sent to the district administration in this regard.