Byndoor: The upgrading work of the national highway into a four lane road which started around six years ago has reached it final stage. Work has been completed at many places and the Shiroor toll gate located along Kundapur-Goa four-lane road is carrying out practical preparation and since it will begin to function in some days, the people from Shiroor, Byndoor, Bhatkal areas will soon have to pay toll to travel. Unfinished work, but pay the toll Already, it is a known fact that the locals have conducted huge protests at Sastan, Hejmady, Surathkal and other toll plazas against the unfinished and unscientific road works and the forceful collection of tolls. Amidst this, with the opening of the toll gate at Shiroor, people living here will be compelled to pay tolls to visit their farmlands from their homes. 10 km area within Shiroor is a major commercial area made up of banks, schools, association offices and people from Gorte, Adiberu, Belake, Sarpanakatte must come to Shiroor. Besides, for any work one has to travel to Bhatkal which located at a distance of 7 km from Shiroor. In case toll is implemented on people within 10 km of the toll gates vicinity, they will be forced to pay the toll to travel. No service roads. Department must give clarification Since there was information a few months back regarding the starting of toll collection here, the local highway fight committee kept forth the issue during the MP’s Janasamparka meeting. Besides they also submitted a request to the officials of the highway department to give exemption to the vehicles within 10km vicinity of the toll gate. Accepting this, the MP had asked the company and the highway officials to not to start collecting tolls without the completion of the service roads. However, the company officials are give the lame excuse that the report regarding the service road submitted by the company must get approved by the RO office. Amidst this, they are carrying out all the process to start toll collection. Trial runs are also being conducted since a month. Once the toll collection begins, the company needs to clear up before the confusion begins. Locals getting ready to fight Already the national highway horata committee has planned to carry out a huge protest before the toll collection begins demanding exemption for locals. On one side the economy is dragging itself and on the other side, since there are more farmers and labourers, if in case the action is taken to collect toll from the locals, they will fight, opinion the locals. Besides, let them finish the road works completely and then collect the toll. The company needs to think seriously about this problem. Compulsory exemption must be provided to those within 10 km limits of the toll gate. The MLA, MP has also asked to start the toll collection after the service road is completed. If in case they fail to respond to the demands of the locals, the fight shall begin in the beginning itself – Satish Kumar Shetty, Highway Horata Committee Shiroor The process is being conducted. Toll division is separate. Since the work has been completed, toll collection may be started in a couple of months. Exemption for locals is the decision left for higher officials – Yogendrappa, Project Manager The company has sought permission from NHAI to start toll collection. But to start collecting toll, it has its own rules. No permission has been given till now. Only after there is clarity on the rules and the work will the permission be given to collect toll – Chennayya, NHAI consultant
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