Residents threaten to block highway if toll is collected twice on the highway

In a meeting convened by Nalin Kumar Kateel, Member of Parliament, on Tuesday, a group of people threatened to block National Highway 73 at B.C. Road if a second toll plaza is set up on the highway.

At the meeting, Shriram Mishra, Project Director, Mangalore Project Office of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) made it clear that the authority would start collecting toll at Brahmarakootlu between Mangalore and B. C. Road from the early hours of Thursday. He said that the NHAI issued a notification to this effect. It was for maintaining the highway between Mangalore and B.C. Road, widened under the Port Connectivity Project.

He said that there was no link to this project and the bridge fee being collected at Panemangalore between B.C. Road and Kalladkka from the Mangalore Division of the National Highways under the State Public Works Department. The State government was collecting the bridge fee since 2003 for building a new bridge across the Nethravati.

Mr. Mishra said that though the distance between the two toll plazas was 4 km since both were separate projects toll could be collected at two places. No government rule prohibited this, he said.

But some residents of B. C. Road, led by Govinda Prabhu, a member of Bantwal Town Municipal Council and former president of Bantwal Urban Development Authority, said that people could not afford to pay user fee at two places. The highway would be blocked. Mr. Mishra said that the problems relating to narrow service roads between B. C. Road and Surathkal could be solved by land acquisition for which the NHAI would take steps wherever necessary.

Flyover work to begin in Jan.

Construction of a flyover at Thokkottu Junction on National Highway 66 will begin at the end of January, said Shriram Mishra, Project Director, Mangalore Project Office of the NHAI. He told a meeting convened by Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP, here on Tuesday that the new parallel bridge across the Nethravati at Jeppinamogaru would be completed by next January end.

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