Udupi: Minister Sunil Kumar said that an unscientific decision to collect Surathkal toll at Hejamady has been made due to the negligence of NHAI officials. The whole Surathkal toll collection was shifted to Hejamady toll to close the toll. “I am requesting toll exemption for all the KA 20 vehicles at Hejamady,” he said.
Speaking to mediapersons after a meeting between District MLS and officials he said, “We are demanding exemption from additional toll fee for KA 20 vehicles. For KA 20 vehicles, including commercial vehicles, only the original rates should be collected at Hejamady. We have asked the NHAI to consider other options rather than implementing the additional toll only in Hejamady. District In-Charge Minister S. Angara will speak to the CM today itself.” We will also speak with the MP about the issue and travel to Delhi to convince them. Once the Surathkal Toll Gate has been closed, it is not right to collect additional money in Hejamady. We’ll speak with Delhi officials about this issue,” he added.
He further said, “We didn’t say that the Surathkal toll gate is illegal. The 25 km-long road stretch at Surathkal was subject to toll collection during the previous governments of 2014–15. Its operation was agreed to be continued until 2035. It was closed as a result of some pressure, and shifting the additional toll charges to Hejamady is not right. People need not worry till the discussions are completed. This is not an election issue. Now, we are paying for the mistakes they committed. However, we won’t back down from this and will make every effort to find the best solution,” he said.
The District In-ChargeMinister S. Angara, MLAs Raghupati Bhat and Lalaji R. Mendon, deputy commissioner Kurma Rao, SP Hakay Akshay Machhindra, President of the backward class commission Jayaprakash Hegde, and others attended the meeting.