BJP protests by refusing to pay toll at Talapady

BJP protests by refusing to pay toll at Talapady

Protesters, led by BJP MLAs, gather at the toll gate at Talapady.

BJP workers, led by MLAs D Vedavyas Kamath and Dr Y Bharat Shetty, staged a protest at Talapady on Wednesday, condemning the delay in completion of the Pumpwell flyover work.

They also encouraged vehicle owners not to pay toll at the Talapady gate.

As the Navayuga Udupi Tollway Private Limited failed to complete the flyover work in spite of several changes in deadline, the BJP workers decided to stage a protest.

The stir was also a warning to ensure that the project promoters would complete the work by January 31, as promised to MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and Deputy Commissioner Sindhu B Rupesh, said the BJP workers..

The protesters gathered at the toll at 7.40 am and tied a rope to the gate, preventing the toll staff from collecting toll. The protest continued till 6 pm.

More than 300 BJP workers, including former MLC K Monappa Bhandary, BJP Mangaluru Assembly constituency president Santhosh Kumar Rai Boliyar, corporators and Zilla Panchayat members participated in the protest.

Vedavyas Kamath told reporters that NHAI and Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt Ltd, at a meeting held on December 31, had promised to complete the work by January 31.

“The work on the flyover, which has dragged on for years, has caused a lot of inconvenience to road users. When the work was delayed owing to the poor financial condition of the contractor, the MP had ensured that they (contractor) received a loan of Rs 56 crore from the bank to complete the work. In spite of it, the contractor has failed to complete the work as promised,” he alleged.

‘Symbolic protest’

“Initially, we had decided not to allow toll collection until January 31. If we stop toll collection, however, the contractor will face financial problems. We are, therefore, holding a symbolic protest for a day. If the contractor fails to meet the deadline on January 31, then the BJP will intensify its protest. The NHAI and the contractor will be held responsible for any loss,” he warned.

“Already, criminal cases have been booked against the contractor for failing to complete the work on the flyover. As per the agreement with the contractor, they can collect toll only after completing 75% to 80% of the work,” Kamath pointed out.

Toll Manager Shivaprasad said, “The situation at the toll gate will be brought to the notice of the management of the Navayuga Udupi Tollway Private Limited. About Rs 7 lakh toll is collected at Talapady daily. If the toll is not collected during peak hour, we will incur a loss of at least Rs 4 lakh a day.”

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