Toll Issue: Udupi Bandh peaceful, evokes mixed response
Udupi: The district Bandh called by the Toll Virodhi Horata Samiti opposing toll collection at the toll plazas at Hejamadi and Sastan has evoked mixed response from the district on Monday, February 13.
However, life was thrown out of gear in major areas like Kundapur, Koteshwar, Kota, Sastan, Brahmavar, Kaup, Uchila, Padubidri and other areas. The bandh in the district was peaceful, though public conveyance was cancelled and shops were closed. But in Udupi City limits, life was normal.
In Sastan and Kundapur area the Rashtriya Heddari Samiti forced the shop owners, and other business establishments to close down their offices. They also tried to block the roads.
The Heddari Jagruthi Samiti organised a Padayatra from Padubidri to Hejamadi toll gate but police stopped the protesters at the Padubidri bus-stand because of section 144 in the area.
Following the bandh call, all educational institutions, and other establishments observed a voluntary bandh in Kundapur, Koteshwar, Kota, Sasthan, Brahmavar, Kaup, Uchila, Padubidri and other areas.
A large police force was deployed at Hejamadi and Gundmi toll plaza. In-charge SP Vishnuvardhan was personally present at Padubidiri and monitoring the situation.
In Padubidri protesters tried to take padayatra from Padubidri to Hejamadi but the police foiled their plans. They also demanded that the Deputy Commissioner visit the protest place and shouted slogans against the DC for imposing section 144.
Udupi Tahsildar and Taluk Magistrate Maheshchandra arrived at the spot. The Tahsildar said that the deputy commissioner is out of station and has conveyed his order of not collecting the toll from KA 20 registered vehicles at Hejamadi and Sastan Toll Plaza’s till February 25. The district minister In charge is also in Bengaluru attending the legislative session. He will be back in two days after which the Deputy Commissioner will call a special meeting to address the problems of Toll collection, he added.
In Sastan representatives of the Assistant commissioner visited the spot and interacted with the protesters and assured of not collecting the toll from KA 20 registered vehicles at Hejamadi and Sastan Toll Plaza’s till February 25.
Police arranged tight security for the bandh. Additional forces have been deployed at vulnerable points to prevent any untoward incidents.