Madurai

No toll collection at Vandiyur plaza: HC

Court passes the order while hearing a batch of PIL pleas

MADURAI

Taking into account the fact that there is no dedicated lane for emergency services and exempted vehicles at Vandiyur toll plaza on the Ring Road here, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday restrained the State Highways Department and the concessionaire from collecting the toll there.

Hearing a batch of public interest litigation petitions, a Division Bench of Justices M. Duraiswamy and T. Ravindran restrained the State Highways Department and the concessionaire from collecting the toll at Vandiyur toll plaza, one of the three newly opened toll plazas on the road, from February 27. The court further ordered that the loss of revenue to be incurred this way should not be compensated through the other two toll plazas.

The court also took cognisance of the submission that effective steps were being taken to provide separate lanes for emergency vehicles and negotiations were under way to acquire land for widening of Vandiyur toll plaza. It adjourned the hearing till March 26.

The petitioners said that the toll plazas at Vandiyur, Chintamani and Valayankulam were located within a stretch of 27 km from Sivaganga Road-Ring Road junction to Kappalur and were close to one another. Commuters, school students and the general public were affected by this arrangement, they complained.

They pointed out that as per Rule 8 of the National Highways Fees Determination of Rates and Collection Rules, 2008, there should be a distance of 60 km between two toll plazas.

Also, the newly opened toll plazas did not have separate lanes for emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire tenders and other exempted vehicles, the petitioners said, and sought a direction to restrain the collection of toll at these plazas.

In addition to these three, toll plazas had already been set up on Thoothukudi highway at Eliyarpathi and on Dindigul-Kanniyakumari four-lane highway at Kappalur near Tirumangalam, which was under the control of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), they said.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 3:05:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/no-toll-collection-at-vandiyur-plaza-hc-madurai/article30925150.ece

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