Surathkal toll: Report on concession agreement sought

Surathkal toll: Report on concession agreement sought

Toll collection at the Surathkal plaza has been withheld till the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways takes a decision on merging the toll with the one at Hejamady.

The additional chief secretary of the PWD, Ports and Inland Water Transport Department has sought a comprehensive report on the concession agreement between the Karnataka government and the NHAI while setting up the toll plaza at Surathkal.

District In-charge Minister U T Khader, who mentioned this to reporters on Wednesday, also said that toll collection from locally registered (KA19) vehicles has been withheld till a decision is taken by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on the merger of Surathkal and Hejamady tolls.

“During the implementation of any major project, the government enters into an agreement with the implementing authority to protect the interest of the local residents. Accordingly, all the facilities in the agreement document should be provided to the local residents,” said the minister and added, “The NHAI should, therefore, reveal the concession agreement document.”

Four toll gates

Stating that the Surathkal toll plaza is unscientifically constructed, Khader admitted that a toll gate cannot come up within city corporation limits. “There are four tolls within a radius of 30 kilometres – at Talapady, Surathkal, Hejamady and Brahmarakootlu. This proves a burden to the vehicle users,” he added.

Khader urged Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel to fix an appointment with Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari to discuss the projects related to railways and highways. “I have already spoken to Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda in this regard,” he said.

The four-laning of the road from B C Road to Surathkal was executed by IRCON. The Centre should release the pending amount for IRCON, so that the Surathkal toll is closed permanently, he demanded.

The minister said that a draft Karnataka Regulation of Boarding and Lodging Houses Rules 2019 has been prepared.

“The paying guest accommodation owners can submit objections and suggestions to the draft rules. Any objection and suggestion may be addressed to the Principal Secretary to Government, Urban Development, 4th Floor, Vikasa Soudha, Bengaluru – 560 001.”

Guidelines on uniformity

District In-charge Minister U T Khader, who is also Minister for Urban Development, has said that the guidelines to bring in uniformity while auctioning commercial complexes and stalls owned by the urban local bodies in the state have been framed. He said that there was no uniformity in the rules followed while auctioning the commercial complexes and stalls.

“Even the rent varies from one ULB to another. As per the Karnataka Transparency in Public Procurement (KTPP) Act 2000, commercial complexes and stalls should be auctioned or e-tendered. The lease period should not exceed 12 years. While leasing the complexes, the monthly lease rent should be fixed. About 18% of the stalls should be set aside for people belonging to the SC/ST communities and should be auctioned only to them. A stall with a plinth area of 150 square feet should be distributed to people who have more than 50% disability, by picking lottery,” said the minister.