Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (SP)
Udupi, Feb 23: The district development and monitoring committee (DISHA) meeting organised at the zilla panchayat hall here on Monday February 22 to discuss various problems relating to national highways in the district ended in deadlock. MP Shobha Karandlaje, who presided over the meeting, insisted on extending toll concession for the vehicles of people living within a radius of five kilometres from the tollgate. Navayuga company officials stayed firm on not extending the said facility. The meeting therefore ended in stalemate.
Karandlaje instructed the officials to collect data about the vehicles owned by the people of five gram panchayats located near the tollgate and extend toll fee concession to them at the tollgate. On behalf of the district administration deputy commissioner G Jagadeesha, said that the administration will help in collecting the details so that extending concession to ineligible vehicles can be avoided.
Ramakrishna, toll in-charge of Navayuga, said that the company will not be able to extend this concession as toll concession has already been extended for three years. "Every day about 40 percent vehicles are passing the tollgate without any charges. The company is running under loss. Moreover, taking such a decision is against the earlier decisions taken by the district administration and the state government," he stated and sought cooperation from all the concerned.
The MP warned the company that if the company is adamant on not giving concession as above, the police security extended to the tollgate may have to be withdrawn.
Office bearers of Rashtriya Heddari Horata Samithi who raised the topic at the meeting, stayed firm on extending concession as before without forcing the locals to buy passes. They said that as per law, no tollgate can be constructed within the local administration limits. They demanded to shift the gate elsewhere, duly pointing out that due to unscientific execution of highway, over 600 people have lost their lives. They therefore demanded to register first information report against the company concerned.
Toll at interior road
Services buses have to pay Rs 600 to 900 per day at the tollgate constructed at the interior road passing near the tollgate leading to Hejamady. Therefore 75 percent of bus trips run on this route have been withdrawn on account of losses, said Suresh Nayak Kuilady, secretary of Canara Bus Owners Association, and demanded to extend concession to private service buses.
Highway officials stated that the national highway between Malpe and Karavali bypass will be widened to 22 metres instead of 30 metres and proposal for three roads, Hebri-Hiriadka two-lane, Hiriadka-Parkala four-lane and Malpe-Karavali bypass road would be merged into one and fresh proposal would be sent.
The officials were instructed about fixing of prices for the land being acquired for national highway at Parkala. The meeting also decided to convene a meeting of locals and convince them to give up their land for highway widening.
MLAs Raghupathi Bhat and Lalaji R Mendon, zilla panchayat president Dinakar Babu, chief executive officer Dr Naveen Bhat, district superintendent of police Vishnuvardhan, and additional superintendent of police Kumar Chandra, were present.