Agitators torch toll booths in Kolhapur

Agitators torch toll booths in Kolhapur

Two toll check-posts were torched and five others were vandalised by anti-toll protesters in Kolhapur around 400 km from here on Sunday, officials said.

Though the anti-toll agitation has been going on since early last week, on Sunday noon, hordes of people from the town and nearby villages swamped the nine toll-posts dotting the outskirts of the city, protesting the resumption of toll collection despite official assurance that it would be stopped from Saturday night.

Later, talking to local media, an activist said: “While the toll posts shut down for a few hours following the announcement made in Mumbai, late on Saturday night, the toll collection resumed. This angered the people and thus this hostile atmosphere.”

Information available here suggests that the state government decided to stop collecting the toll from the public and instead recover the amount from the Kolhapur Municipal Corporation (KMC) and hand it over to the IRB, a firm managing the toll-posts in the city.

However, the IRB resumed toll collection late in night on grounds that no formal letter has been issued, the activist said and Kolhapur Anti-Toll Committee (KATC) leader Prof N D Patil demanded a clarification from the state government on the issue.

While a couple of toll posts were totally gutted in the fire, agitators in other places destroyed toll collection infrastructure, computers, CCTVs, generators and cabins.

The Kolhapur Shiv Sena unit has given call for a “shutdown” on Monday in protest against the continued toll collection.

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