The move to collect the combined user fee at Hejamadi including the toll from the closed Surathkal toll plaza is unscientific, Karnataka Minister for Energy, Kannada and Culture V Sunil Kumar said on Saturday.
Addressing reporters in Udupi after a meeting of elected representatives and officials, he said efforts are being made to reverse the decision taken by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at the central level.
He said the shifting of the burden from one toll gate to another is unscientific. Discussions will be held with Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai also to find a solution to the issue, he said.
The meeting held today decided to suggest to the NHAI to exempt vehicles from Udupi district from paying additional toll by creating a separate lane for them, the minister said.
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The meeting was attended online by Udupi district in-charge Minister S Angara. Udupi MLA Raghupathi Bhat, Kaup MLA Lalaji Mendon, Deputy Commissioner M Kurma Rao and District Superintendent of Police Akshay Machhindra were present.
The action committee against Surathkal toll gate, which had wound up its month-long agitation against toll collection earlier this week, will be joining the protest against increased toll collection at the Hejamadi toll gate.
With the closure of the Surathkal toll gate by Wednesday, NHAI has decided to collect the same toll collected at Surathkal from Hejamadi toll plaza in addition to the existing rates at the gate.