Toll collection at Panemangalore plaza stopped after protests

December 6, 2013

Stanley Pinto,TNN |

MANGALORE: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) stopped toll collection at the Panemangalore Nethravathi toll booth temporarily on Thursday following protests by BJP, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) and other organizations.

Residents of Bantwal Taluk had warned NHAI that they will carry out protests if they open a road toll booth at Brahmarakootlu without closing the Panemangalore bridge toll plaza.

Earlier, NHAI had notified that toll collection would commence at Brahmarakootlu on Mangalore – Bangalore National Highway on Thursday.

The BJP took the lead to organize the protest with former MLA Padmanabha Kottari, Rukmayya Poojari, former ZP member Thungappa Bangera and others blocking traffic at Panemangalore toll booth. NHAI officials, who arrived at the spot, held discussions with the BJP leaders and assured them that the uncertainty over the two toll booths will be cleared in three days and they will bring the matter to the notice of their higher ups.

Though some party workers started dismantling the toll booth, the leaders managed to pacify them.

Meanwhile, SDPI members carried out a protest asking NHAI to suspend toll collection till all work pertaining to NH is completed.

The new toll booth at Brahmarakootlu caused traffic jams as the approach road to the toll plaza was narrow. The Brahmarakootlu toll collection, which was stopped due to public protests, resumed after they were given police protection.

A few days ago, the issue was raised at a meeting called by MP Nalin Kumar Kateel with NHAI officials. Social activist Govinda Prabhu had said that Panemangalore bridge toll collection should be stopped as the new toll booth is just five km away from it.

At the meeting the villagers had pointed out that NHAI cannot operate two toll booths within a stretch of 60 km. However, NHAI project director Shriram Mishra had clarified that the restriction on toll gates is separate for roads and bridges.

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