The 22 socio-political organisations that have opposed toll being imposed over the Aroor-Edapally stretch of the NH 47 bypass, have threatened to resist toll collection if the NHAI goes ahead with it.
The NHAI had agreed to withhold toll collection till Wednesday, when the State Cabinet is expected to come up with a decision on the issue. People view the toll collection over the bypass with suspicion, since they had to pay toll till recently only for select bridges in the State. There is no justification to collect toll since 52 per cent of the price of fuel goes as tax to the Central and State Governments. This is apart from the different taxes/fees/cess that are levied when a vehicle is purchased and registered, said C. R. Neelakandan, general convener of the NH Protection Samity.
In the meanwhile, the city-based Centre for Consumer Education has termed as unwarranted the anti-toll agitation. “The agitation would delay the development of NHs in the State by another five years. This would increase the cost of road construction. Toll is generally levied when the Government is unable to raise funds for road development,” said Dejo Kappen, managing trustee.