The Corporation toll gate collection on the Ring Road has once again come into focus with the arrest of two casual labourers on charges of not issuing tickets to road users after taking money from them on Friday night.
The district police acted on a complaint pasted on the public grievance redressal page of Madurai Collector on Facebook. As they scrutinised the working at Toll Gate No. 1, they saw two daily wage workers collecting money from a cargo autorickshaw driver, M. Chandrasekaran but failing to give a receipt.
The Othakadai police arrested A. Rajkumar (40) of Keeraithurai and K. Mookaiah (45) of Silaman and sent them to remand on Saturday. Following complaints of irregularities in the past, the sleuths of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption had conducted simultaneous raids at the five toll gates on the 27-km-long Ring Road connecting Madurai city with Kappalur on the Madurai-Virudhunagar highway.
During a surprise check, Deputy Commissioner K. Sambhavi, found that many vehicles were allowed to pass the toll gates without money being collected, or without issuing proper tickets. Based on her report, the Commissioner, R. Nanthagopal, removed all the TEXCO employees from toll collection and appointed bill collectors at the toll gates. In the subsequent days, the toll collection which was hovering around Rs. 3.5 lakh a day, drastically went up to Rs. 5.5 lakh a day, an official said. However, due to shortage of staff, the Corporation withdrew the bill collectors and appointed unskilled labourers to monitor the toll collection. A contractor was appointed to deploy casual labourers for collection of money and issuing of tickets.
An official said that computerisation of issuing receipts and fix closed circuit television camera at the toll gates could put an end to this.