Residents stage protest against toll collection, demand relaxation for KA-20 vehicles
Udupi: The National Highway Jagrathi Committee Sastan staged a protest at the Sastan Toll plaza on November 30 against collecting the toll without the completion of the NH work.
Addressing the gathering Pratap Shetty president of the National Highway Jagrathi Committee Sastan said that the Navayuga company which is doing the road construction work have decided to collect the toll from December 2 which is unconstitutional. The company agreed to complete the road work in December 2013 but till now they have not completed the work. As per the road act, before collecting the toll from the vehicles the company should construct service roads on both sides of the toll plaza. In sastan, Hejamadi the company has not completed the service road.
The Navayuga Company has failed to complete the pending work between Surathkal to Kundapur. Many local residents have lost their land for the project and now they are suffering because of the project. The company claims that it had already completed 90 percent of the work, but in several places like Padubidiri and Kundapur, they have not completed the required road and over-bridges.
He also demanded the NHAI authorities relaxation in taking the toll fee from the locals with KA-20 registration vehicles. The company should construct flyovers in places like Ambalapady, Kota Murkai, Basrur Junction and some other places. Navayuga company has still not constructed a proper drainage system which will affect the public during the raining season. The work of installing street lights is also pending in many important places like Sastan, Saligrama, Kota, Brahmavar, Katapadi etc. The company should also build Bus Shelters, Underpass or Flyovers and Shelter for autorickshaw Stands, Goods vehicle and also Tourist vehicles. If the authorities of NHAI’ fail to fulfil the demands, the committee will take strong measures to protect the interest of the locals in the coming days, he warned.
Rajesh Kaveri president of the Lorry owners association said that the residents have lost their land for the project and the company has not given proper compensation to those who have lost their land. We are spending 50 percent of the vehicle income to pay the toll. The company should stop receiving toll from KA-20 registration vehicles. However, in Padubidri and other places, the road work is yet to be completed and 30 to 40 per cent work is incomplete on the Surathkal – Kundapur NH stretch. In such a situation, toll should not be collected at Hejamadi and Sastan, he added.
Later protesters blocked the National Highway for 2 minutes and handed over a memorandum the Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for Road Transport and Highways through the NHAI officials.
Ramakrishna Herle, Ravi Shetty, Raghavendra Kanchan, Joythi Uday Shetty, Vittal Poojary, Moses Rodrigues, Govinda Poojary, Kishore Kumar, Alwyn Andrade, Sathish Mutlupadi, Baby Krishna Salian, Prakash Tellis, Bannadi Somanath Hegde and others were present.