Surathkal committee opposes introduction of FASTag

Surathkal tollgate: Committee opposes introduction of FASTag

 A view of toll gate near NITK in Surathkal. Credit: DH File Photo

The Action Committee Against Surathkal Tollgate has decided to hold protest if FASTag is made compulsory at tollgate in Surathkal from January 1.

Committee convener Muneer Katipalla said that the FASTag was compulsory on tollgates across the country from January 1. However, the committee will oppose if it is made mandatory at Surathkal tollgate. The present tollgate is a temporary one set up by NHAI.

Preparations are on to make FASTag compulsory at the tollgate in Surathkal as per the Centre’s direction. This will take away the exemption given for local vehicles, he alleged. “We will not agree with the decision of the government to make FASTag compulsory in Surathkal.”

Recalling that the NHAI had decided to merge Surathkal tollgate with Hejamady tollgate three years ago, he said the State government too had given its nod for the same.

As merger process has not been implemented, the tollgate at Surathkal is functioning illegally. Till the merger of Surathkal tollgate with Hejamady, the concession for local vehicles in Surathkal should be continued, he added.

Katipalla called upon all the vehicle owners to launch a protest to oppose the introduction of FASTag at Surathkal tollgate.

Concession demanded

Members of Heddari Jagruthi Samithi have urged the officials to provide exemption from paying toll to the local vehicles at Sasthana tollgate in Udupi district.

The local vehicles were given exemption from paying the toll at the tollgate till now. With the introduction of FASTag, the exemption will be taken away and all the local vehicles will have to pay the toll.

The officials had reportedly told the Samithi members that as per the government order no concession will be given for the local vehicles. Those who fail to use the FASTag will have to pay double the amount.

The Samithi members said that the exemption was given in the meeting chaired by MP and elected representatives. Any move to cancel the exemption will be opposed.

The officials have promised to discuss it with the higher authorities shortly.