Mangaluru: Though fees rules notified in 2008 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways determine the minimum distance for toll booths on National Highways to be 60km, the distance between two toll gates can be less than that under certain circumstances, NHAI has said.
The NHAI was responding to an RTI query filed by Dilraj Alva, former president of the Dakshina Kannada District Bus Owners Association.
As per a TOI report, the NHAI, responding to the RTI query states, “The development work of the national highway is done as per requirements. Therefore, two adjoining sections constructed at different times in separate contracts, having a length of less than 60 km, may have the fee plazas within 60 km.”
The report, quoting Alva, mentions that three toll booths are functional between the 45-km stretch from Talapady in Dakshina Kannada and Hejmady in Udupi on NH-66. Apart from this motorists on the Bengaluru to Udupi route have to pay toll charges at Brahmarakotlu and Surathkal, though the distance is just 39 km, he added.
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The RTI reply comes at a time when renewed protests have been launched demanding closure of NITK tollgate at Surathkal or its merger with the one at Hejamady. Social activist Asif Apathbandhava has been staging unique theatrical protests, since February 7, to draw the attention of concerned authorities.
Six years ago the toll gate at NITK Surathkal was set up temporarily with the assurance that it would be merged with the new toll plaza at Hejmady. However, the assurance remains unmet and several protests over the issue has not yielded any favourable result.