The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on November 24 has issued revised user fee rates at Hejamadi toll gate in Udupi district after the merger of Dakshina Kannada’s Surathkal toll plaza on NH 66.
The revised use fee rate will come into effect from December 1.
The present fee for a single trip at Surathkal plaza for Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) like car, jeep, van etc is Rs 60 and Rs 40 at Hejamadi plaza. After the merger of Surathkal gate with that of Hejamadi, the toll for LMV at Hejamadi will be Rs 100.
The present fee for return trips for LMV at Surathkal is Rs 90 and Rs 65 at Hejamadi. With the new user fee, the return trips for LMV at Hejamadi will be Rs 155. The present fee for monthly pass valid for 50 single trips for LMV at Surathkal plaza is Rs 2,050 and Rs 1,410 at Hejamadi. After the merger, fee for monthly pass valid for 50 single trips for LMV at Hejamadi will be hiked to Rs 3,460.
The buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles will also have to pay the toll of Surathkal plaza at Hejamadi after the merger. Buses that are paying Rs 6,940 and Rs 4,765 for monthly pass for 50 single trips at Surathkal and Hejamadi respectively will have to pay Rs 11,705 at Hejamadi after the merger.
While oversized vehicles (seven or more axles) that were paying Rs 13,250 and Rs 9,100 for monthly pass for 50 single trips at Surathkal and Hejamadi respectively will have to pay Rs 22,350 after the merger at Hejamadi.
NHAI project director H S Linge Gowda, in a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Udupi, has stated that the calculation has been done as per the National Highways Fee (determination of rates and collection) Amendment Rules, 2010 and National Highways Fee (determination of rates and collection) Amendment Rules, 2014.
“Based on the continuous request by the government of Karnataka, local public/VIP references, the competent authority has accorded approval for merger of Surathkal toll plaza with adjacent Hejamadi toll plaza. Accordingly, user fee for Surathkal toll plaza will now be charged at Hejamadi toll plaza by adding toll fee for both the stretches,” the project director said.
The NHAI has requested the Udupi district administration to provide necessary support including police protection to ensure that there will be no law and order issues at Hejamadi after the merger of Surathkal toll gate.
Referring to NHAI Chairperson’s letter to Chief Secretary of Government of Karnataka dated October 29, he said “there is a need to ensure that there will not be any disruption or stoppage to toll collection at Hejamadi toll plaza and in case there is any disruption/stoppage of toll collection, the losses on this account shall be reimbursed by State government as per State Support Agreement to NHAI.”
Toll Virodhi Horata Samithi convener Muneer Katipalla said that the indefinite day and night dharna that entered the 29th day on Friday will end only after toll collection is stopped at Surathkal.
On NHAI’s decision to collect the toll of Surathkal at Hejamadi, Katipalla said that a meeting of all like minded organisations from Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts will be held soon to discuss the future plans.
Terming it as an anti-people decision, Katipalla said “the NHAI has decided to collect exorbitant fees at Hejamadi. Is there no value for the toll collected at Surathkal in the last seven years?” he sought to know.
“MP and MLAs failed to understand the feelings and the hardship of people. People from undivided Dakshina Kannada should raise their voice. It has now been proved beyond any doubt that BJP MPs and MLAs have no experience in governance,” said Katipalla.
With the merger and revision of user fee, the exemption of toll given for private vehicles with KA 19 registration at Surathkal will no longer be valid after December 1 at Hejamadi.