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Nitin Gadkari to Discuss Toll Tax Hike on Dec 5

On the issue of toll hike in Udupi, MLA K. Raghupati Bhat visited Nitin Gadkari in Delhi to seek resolution on the matter of the toll merger of Surathkal and Hejamadi toll gates. The excess tax is to be paid from December 1, resulting in reproval from the public. Nitin Gadkari will meet NHAI on Monday to discuss the issue.

Stuti Das
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari

The NHAI’s merger of Surathkal and Hejamadi Toll Plaza is set to spring extra toll fees on the commuters taking the Udupi-Mangaluru Highway. BJP-MLA K. Raghupati Bhat called the merger ‘unscientific’ and ‘anti-people’, as he submitted a memorandum to the Union Minister of Roads and Transports, Nitin Gadkari on the matter seeking resolution. The Minister has reportedly assured to sit with NHAI on Monday to discuss the issue.

The merger of the two Toll plazas, situated at a distance of 55 Kms, set forth under the Navayuga Construction Company has been proven to be problematic for the people of Udupi and nearby areas. Though it is only a small distance of not more than one hour, yet the traffic is often tremendous for people of Udupi traveling to the Mangaluru International Airport.

Futher, the commuters are now expected to pay an extra fee of Rs 100 at the Surathkal Toll Plaza as soon as the Hejamadi Toll Plaza becomes functional from this month.

The memorandum raised concerns of inequity towards the residents of Udupi, as for a commute of half hour, they would have to pay heavy taxes at Hejamadi Tollgate. Apart from this, commercial vehicles traveling on a daily basis along the stretch would be paying hefty toll-fees for commuting through the Udupi-Mangaluru Highway.

Sobha Karandlaje, Union Minister of State Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare took matters into her own hands as she spoke to the NHAI officials raising the issues that were impending on the common folk of Udupi.

Backlashes and Protests are to be expected, according to the Former Minister Vinay Sorake of the Indian National Congress against the toll-fee hike.

Apart from commercial drivers, the protests will also reportedly be joined by private car owners as it affects the entire population commuting inter-state. As the people have already been paying a hefty fee at the Surathkal Toll Plaza, the merger would just be an absolute impediment of justice towards the residents of the area.

As a matter of fact people have previously been disapproving of the merger. At the present the excess fees would become a commute hindrance which defies the purpose of the merger for easy and hassle-free travel. Hence, the memorandum has entreated the NHAI to revoke the merger as well as cease the Surathkal Plaza altogether.

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