MASSIVE Protest on 16 Feb In Spite of NHAI saying Toll Booths Allowed Within a Distance of 60 km

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MASSIVE Protest on 16 Feb In Spite of National Highway Authority of India Officials ( NHAI) saying Toll Booths Allowed Within a Distance of 60 km. Social Activist and a Humanitarian Mohammed Asif aka Asif Apathbandhava, who has been protesting in a novel each day since 7 February, has through a video message requested people to join in large numbers for the protest to be held on 16 February 2022 at 3.30 pm near the Surathkal Toll Booth

Mangaluru: Social Activist and a Humanitarian Mohammed Asif aka Asif Apathbandhava,, who is also known for giving shelter to people who are mentally challenged, homeless and others being the founder of Mymuna Foundation, who has been protesting against the Surathkal toll gate from February 7, said he will continue his protest until the NHAI stops toll collection. “I have received support from various organisations, including bus owners, truck operators, taxi associations and religious forums. I will continue the protest for a public cause,” said Asif, who has been holding a protest in a novel way each day, like squatting in slush, sleeping on broken fluorescent bulbs (tube lights), impersonating a dead body etc. And he has made an appeal through a video requesting people to come in large numbers for a MASSIVE protest on 16 February at 3:30 pm near the Surathkal toll gate.

Transgenders creating nuisance on Tuesday midnight where Asif is protesting

On Tuesday around midnight, a bunch of transgenders had created a nuisance where Asif was at his protest, using foul language, and the incident has been investigated by the police directed by Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar. The toll gate at Surathkal opened six years ago, on a temporary basis, with the assurance that it would be merged with the new toll plaza, opened 9 km away at Hejmady. In 2018, a decision was taken to merge the Surathkal toll gate with the Hejmady plaza. However, the contract to collect tolls at Surathkal was renewed again in January 2022. Members of the Action Committee Against Surathkal Toll Gate said that they will relaunch their protest.

However, even as the protest against the Surathkal toll booth is gaining momentum again, in reply to an RTI application submitted by a bus owner, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) said that more toll booths are allowed within a distance of 60 km of national highways, under certain circumstances.

As per the fee rules 2008, the distance between two adjacent toll plazas should be 60 km. However, for various reasons, a toll plaza can also be established within a distance of 60 km, the NHAI states in its reply to an RTI application filed by the former president of the Dakshina Kannada District Bus Owners Association, Dilraj Alva.

In response, NHAI stated, “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.” Meanwhile, Dilraj Alva speaking to team Mangalorean said, “The distance between Talapady in Dakshina Kannada and Hejmady in Udupi on NH-66, is just 45 km, but there are three toll booths at Talapady, Surathkal and Hejmady. In addition, vehicles on the Bengaluru to Udupi route have to pay toll at Brahmarakotlu and Surathkal, though the distance is just 39 km”.

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