Mangaluru, September 28: The toll plaza near NITK Suratkal on the Mangaluru-Udupi National Highway 66 (Old NH-17) which had witnessed huge protests from locals is now getting ready to be opened. The National Highways authority of India has decided to collect fares (Tolls) from the people using this highway starting from midnight on October 1st.
It has announced different fares for different vehicles. From October 1st, tolls have to be paid near NITK Suratkal for usage of 18.362 kms from Nantur to Suratkal. This road works were undertaken by Ircon Company. The capital cost of the project was Rs 363 crores and after collecting the entire capital amount the toll will be reduced by 40 percent.
The fares list of various vehicles is as follows:
Car, Jeep, Van and other light motor vehicles one way transit will cost Rs 45 while for their return on the same day will be charged Rs 70. For vehicle that arrives 50 times in a month, the monthly fare is Rs 1,510. For the vehicles registered in the district, Rs 25 for light commercial vehicles, light goods vehicle or mini bus one way movement will cost Rs 75 and for return on the same day Rs 110. For 50 times traverse in a month, Rs 2,435 will be the charges and Rs 35 for the vehicles registered in the district.
Bus or trucks (two axels) one way trip costs Rs 155, for return on the same day Rs 230. Monthly pass is Rs 5,105 for 50 traverses in a month. Rs 75 for the commercial vehicles registered in the district. For one way traverse of three axel commercial vehicles, Rs 165 and for return on the same day Rs 250. For 50 times traverse in a month Rs 5,565 are the fares and Rs 85 for vehicles registered in the district.
Heavy construction machines (HCM) or Earth Moving Machines (EME) or Multi-axle Vehicles (Four- Six) vehicles one way journey Rs 240 and for return on the same day Rs 360. For 50 traverses in a month, monthly pass is Rs 8,000 and Rs 120 for vehicles registered in the district.
Plans for opening toll plaza in Talapady:
The Navayuga Company have taken the responsibility of constructing four lane roads from Kundapur to Suratkal and from Nantur to Talapady. The Ircon Company had undertaken the construction works from Suratkal to Nantur. Immediately after the Ircon Company finishes the highway construction works, one toll plaza each near Kundapur and Hejamady will be opened. As the construction cost was more for the construction of the highway from Nantur to Talapady (Ullal bridge and over-bridge) there are plans to open toll plaza even in Talapady.
If all these toll plazas get opened, one has to pay at four toll plazas while traversing from Kundapur- Talapady, or from Kundapur to BC Road.
For all the non commercial vehicles, belonging to the owners at a distance of 20kms from the toll plaza monthly pass of Rs 230 will be available. All kinds of vehicles that return within 24 hours will be given 25 percent off. All vehicles that travel 50 times within a month from the date of payment will be given reduction of 33 percent. The commercial vehicles registered in the district (apart from vehicles registered under the national permit) will receive a 50 percent off.
Vehicle that carries loads more than the permitted weight on the National Highway has to pay 10 percent fares more than the set fares and has to remove the excessive load, informed the National Highways Authority of India.
Protest against the toll collection on September 30:
Led by the Suratkal Nagarika Horata Samithi, many organizations have come forward to stage protest on September 30th opposing the toll collection as no basic facilities are provided as indicated in the toll collection rule, and suddenly fares are collected from the vehicles from October 1st. This was decided in a meeting convened with local organizations in Suratkal.