The State Cabinet on Thursday cleared amendments to the Karnataka State Highways Act 1964 providing the State Government with the necessary sanction to collect toll.
Hitherto, the State Government had no statutory powers to collect toll on State highways. The privilege was vested with contractors who had entered into an agreement with the State Government.
“The proposed amendment to Section 19(a) of the Karnataka State Highways Act 1964 will now provide for State Government to collect toll on its own”, Public Works Minister C M Udasi said.
He said the State Government is yet to identify stretches of State highways on which it proposes to impose toll.
A few stretches of State highways taken up for development under Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project (KSHIP) are likely to be short-listed, he said.
Suo motu powers
The Karnataka Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill 2010 cleared by the State Cabinet on Thursday grants suo motu powers to the Lokayukta to pursue cases involving senior bureaucrats.
Senior officials who could be proceeded against include the chief secretary, additional chief secretary and principal secretaries.
Another amendment provides the Lokayukta to perform the duties of the Upa Lokayukta when the post is vacant. Conversely, the Upa Lokayukta will discharge the functions of the Lokayukta in the event of the post falling vacant on account of resignation, retirement or death.
The Chief Minister, his ministerial colleagues, legislators and heads of boards and corporations have been kept out of purview of the Lokayukta.
The Cabinet gave its clearance for the Karnataka Council for Higher Education Bill, 2010 and also necessary amendments to the Karnataka State Universities Act, 2000 for setting up Vijayanagar Krishnadevaraya University in Bellary and Kittur Rani Chennamma University in Belgaum.