Police protection at toll booths on NHAI fiat: DC

Says district administration bound by the pact between Centre, State

Deputy Commissioner T Venkatesh said that the district administration followed the instructions issued by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on providing police protection at toll collection booths.

Speaking to mediapersons here on Tuesday, the deputy commissioner said that the decision to initiate toll collection was taken at the meeting held by NHAI in September. As per the agreement signed by the central and state governments, the latter has to provide police protection when sought. The DC said the chief secretary would call the meeting shortly in state capital as informed by the district in-charge minister over the issue.

He added that on February 1, Navyug Constructions approached the district administration seeking police protection and if the district administration failed to do so, the company said it would sue the state government demanding compensation for the loss incurred as it has the permission from NHAI to collect the toll.

He said that the company categorically declined to offer any relaxations to the vehicles with ‘KA-20’ registration. The toll was collected from the midnight of February 12. However, the company has agreed to offer concessions and charge Rs 110 up to five kilometers radius, while Rs 135 would be charged within a radius of 20 kilometer for locally registered vehicles.

‘Discharging duty’
Defending his action for imposing Section 144, the DC added that he was responsible to discharge the duty as per the agreement between the two governments. He added that in Udupi district the company has proposed to carry out work for 65.15 kilometers, of which work has already been completed on 58.15 kilometers. The work on 2.2-km stretch is pending in Kundapur along with a proposed flyover. In Udupi, work on one-km stretch and flyover at Karavali junction is pending while 3.3-km road work is pending in Padubidri.

The land acquisition work at Padubidri was delayed, as earlier underpass was proposed in the area. The land acquisition was taken up after the flyover plan was finalised recently. There are 545 building owners in the area who had been served with a notice on December 30 with a 60-day time.

As per the agreement, the company has taken up 30.90 kilometers of the service road works although it can increase the stretch depending on the public requirements. The work on 14.50 km of service road has already been completed.

The meeting held on February 4, decided to set up a work assessment committee and accordingly the PWD engineer was put on task. The PWD principal secretary directed to provide police protection at the toll collection gates, he added.
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