Members of the Dakshina Kannada District Maxicab and Car Owners and Drivers' Association blocked National Highway 48 near B.C. Road here for some time on Tuesday urging the Government to stop collecting toll from vehicles for using the bridge across the Netravati.

Later, they submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada through the tahsildar of Bantwal.

In the memorandum, the association threatened that if the Mangalore division of national highways under the State Government did not stop collecting the toll permanently within a fortnight, it would intensify the agitation. It would also explore the possibility of approaching the court for a direction to the Government to stop collecting the toll.

Satish Kumar Bantwal, honorary president of the association, who is also an advocate, told The Hindu that according to information obtained by the executive engineer of the Mangalore division of national highways under the Right to Information Act, the cost of construction of the bridge was Rs. 9.33 crore. Toll collection began on May 22, 2003 and till August-end, 2008, it had collected Rs. 5.31 crore as toll. By now, the toll collection might have crossed Rs. 10 crore. Hence, the Government should stop collecting it, he said.

The association would invite other organisations to join the agitation, he added.

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