After mayhem, collection at toll plaza in Devanahalli suspended

After effects: Vehicles ply without paying toll on the BIA stretch, after toll booths were damaged by protesters in Bangalore on Tuesday. DH photo

Taking a more “cautious approach towards the sensitive issue”, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Tuesday suspended toll collection.

“The date for resuming toll collection will be announced only after we take a decision on it,” a top NHAI officer said.

An official from Navayuga Devanahalli Tollway Private Limited (NDTPL), which operates the booths, said the company had not received any direction from the NHAI on toll collection yet. The NDTPL personnel said toll would not be collected till the NHAI announced a fresh date.

With 50 personnel from the Karnataka State Reserve Police and the City Armed Reserve, apart from the local police, guarding the toll plaza, curious onlookers and commuters had one question: Will toll collection resume? And when?

But none of the NDTPL officials manning the plaza had an answer.

Vandals released

The 10 Karnataka Rakshna Vedike, who were arrested for vandalising the toll booths on Monday, were released by the lower courts on Tuesday.

A senior police officer said the cops would stay put at the plaza to prevent further attacks.

“We will have the police personnel stationed at the toll booths till the problem is solved. We cannot say when they will be withdrawn,” he said. The NDTPL employees blamed the police for the attack.

“Our bosses had heated exchanges with the City police for their failure to protect the toll booths,” said a company official.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the NDTPL has provided compensation to the family of its employee, Narayanaswamy, who was mowed down by a bus on Monday morning at the plaza.

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