'Collect toll on NH-66 after completing works'

The BJP district unit members demanded that the toll be collected on NH-66 only after the completion of the proposed works by Navyug constructions.

District BJP president Mattaru Ratnakar Hegde said on Thursday that toll should not be collected at Sasthana and Hejamadi junctions until the works proposed – which includes laying of service roads and construction of stormwater drains and footpaths in the area – are completed. If at all the district administration permits for the toll collection, stringent protest will be taken by the party.

He said that according to the National Highway officials, toll collection can be permitted after completion of 85% of the proposed works. In Padubidri, road construction works up to kilometres together is left incomplete. In most of the areas, the service roads are not built. The infrastructure is not provided.

He said the local MP Shobha Karandlaje has written a letter to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari revealing the reality and also appealing for permitting the movement of vehicles of undivided Dakshina Kannada against toll collection. He said the land acquisition taken up by the district administration is inappropriate and unscientific. The district in-charge minister has not raised the issue in the Assembly sessions although the matter is of grave importance.

Asserting that the district administration and district in-charge minister have utterly failed to stop the sand scarcity problem, the BJP president alleged that the district in-charge minister is in deep sleep. “The district administration has failed to introduce a convenient sand policy at least in the non-CRZ areas. Ironically, the neighbouring districts have benefited, owing to ample sand availability in the district. The illegal transport of sand to neighbouring districts is rampant. Besides the sand is also purchased from the neighbouring Dakshina Kannada at a high price. There is a huge demand for sand and the development works are hampered,” said the president.

“The district administration should initiate immediate measures to simplify the rule pertaining to sand mining. The party will take up a rigorous protest and also violate law by indulging in sand transport and distribution of sand to poor by extracting the sand from the blocks,” Hegde warned.

He demanded that the state government hasten the process and immediately embark upon formulating and passing the amendment bill for the smooth conduct of Kambala.

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