‘Toll gate’ in the middle of river!

Collector initiates action after getting wind of illegal activity

June 14, 2017 01:17 am | Updated 01:17 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

At toll gates set up on national highways and ghat roads leading to temples, people pay for using the road. But in Krishna district, an innovative toll gate point surfaced a few months ago in the middle of the Krishna river!

After the water level receded in the Krishna, residents of Srikakulam village in Ghantasala mandal had started taking the river route to cross over to Kollur in Guntur district instead of taking the roundabout way via Avanigadda and Repalle.

The sight of villagers’ repeated attempts gave an idea to a handful of ‘entrepreneurial’ private individuals who laid a temporary road between the border villages of the two districts by using available sand and started collecting ‘toll’ from motorists.

Even two-wheelers

not spared

The illegal operators’ plan succeeded as within a short time, hundreds of vehicles, including heavy ones, began to use the road to save time and fuel. Brazenly operating the unauthorised toll point, the operators made a fast buck without giving any receipt. Even two-wheelers were not spared. The fee varied from vehicle to vehicle. An auto driver said he was charged ₹50. For four-wheelers and bigger vehicles, it ranged from ₹100 to ₹ 300, said the villagers.

Collector B. Lakshmikantam, when contacted, said the toll gate collection had been stopped. “I came to know about it through a news channel and asked the RDO to look into the matter. We found that a temporary road had been laid and money was being collected. Three persons involved in the activity have been booked,” he said.

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