Surathkal: Toll collection at Suratkal tollgate has been suspended from Wednesday midnight (December 1) as per the order of the central government. Along with this, the 6-years-long struggle has come to an end. The 36-day long round-the-clock dharna at the toll gate has also ended.
The toll gate kiosks were locked, equipment installed was also removed. More than 50 staff employed at the toll gate are rendered jobless.
However, one thing remains unchanged at the now-defunct toll gate i.e. pathetic condition of the road. The upper layer of the road surface has chipped off, and huge potholes have replaced it. Huge gullies formed by the constant wear and tear are causing inconvenience to highway motorists who pay hefty usage charges for the ‘excellent’ road facilities.
Locals grumble that the highway authorities of neglecting repairs at the toll collection center. Apart from the bad road, the black soot covering the toll kiosks holds a mirror to the maintenance work done at the facility.
Meanwhile, there are demands from the public to reduce the bus fares plying on the Mangaluru-Kinnigoli-Moodabidri and Mulki-Punarur routes. The private buses had raised the fares by Rs.5 when the toll was being collected at Surathkal. With the toll collection being stopped, there is a clamor for fare reduction as buses no longer need to pay the user charges.
Tollgate ‘Wedding’ invitation goes viral
The hike in toll at Hejamady after the merger of the Surathkal toll gate has become the butt of jokes on social media.
A hilarious wedding invitation announcing the ‘wedding’ of the bride Surathkal Tollgate with the groom Hejamady Tollgate has gone viral on social media platforms. The invitation asks people to wish the bride and the groom good luck by paying toll only at a ‘single location’.