The toll booth set up inside the Church of South India (CSI) complex housing the Unity Buildings, Annexe and Silver Jubilee buildings on Mission Road was on Wednesday ransacked by a group of protesters.
Police identified the protestors as members of Nava Nirmana Sene, a pro-Kannada outfit, who gathered in the complex in large numbers protesting against the collection of toll from motorists passing through the private road in the complex. They contended that the road was public property.
The road, owned by the The Church of South India Trust Association and administered by the Karnataka Inter-Diocesan Administrative, Finance and Property Board, was being used as a shortcut by motorists going from N.R. Square to Lalbagh Road.
Tension prevailed in the complex for some time forcing police to reach the spot and bring the situation under control.
G.D. Pushparaj, the boards’ executive trustee , said that they began collecting toll from motorists using the thoroughfare following complaints of inconvenience they received from the 150-odd tenants in the complex. Many students of nearby educational institutions and others too use the road regularly, much to the inconvenience of the tenants in the complex, he said.
The toll of Rs. 5 per two-wheeler/autorickshaw and Rs. 10 per four-wheeler was being collected between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. since December 16.
The toll was also being adjusted accordingly for those who would park their vehicles in the complex. Visitors were made to pay Rs. 10 per hour for two-wheeler parking and Rs. 20 per hour for four-wheeler parking.
Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana, who visited the complex, sought to know who had permitted the board to collect a toll.
He said that he had directed the joint commissioner to verify documents to be submitted by the board at a review meeting to be held on Thursday.