Activists in DK, Udupi to hold meeting to discuss future plans as NHAI hikes toll fee at Hejamadi from Dec 1

News Network
November 25, 2022

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. 

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News Network
January 24,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 24: In a bizarre incident that seemed straight out of a movie, a crowd of people were seen trying to catch money showered upon them near City Market in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

A man on the BGS flyover was seen throwing down currency notes. The police are trying to trace who he is and he threw the money down.

The walkers and vehicle riders were taken by total surprise and couldn’t believe it when they saw currency notes of the denomination of Rs 10 started falling at their feet.

The development created a huge commotion in the usually crowded Kalasipalya locality. The notes currency notes were thrown from both the sides of the flyover.

The people went ahead in a mad rush to pick up the currency notes and created a traffic jam. The traffic policemen present at the spot were clueless.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) (West) Lakshman Nimbaragi stated, “We don’t know much about the incident and once the inputs are gathered we will share the information.

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News Network
January 26,2023

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Mangaluru, Jan 26: Dakshina Kannada district has so far not gained pace in the administration of booster dose of covid-19 vaccine, according to in-charge DHO Dr Rajesh. 

Only 16 per cent of the targeted population have been administered with the booster dose of vaccine in the coastal district, he told media persons. 

The district has 9,000 doses of Covaxin vaccine which will expire on January 31. There are 38,000 doses of Covishield vaccine which will expire on February 9.

Vaccination camps are held in various places in addition to a vaccine mela on every Wednesday in the district, taluk hospitals, CHCs and PHCs in the district.

Not many people have come forward for the booster dose vaccine in the district, he said.

Among the 16 per cent who were administered with the booster dose are above 60 years old, frontline workers and healthcare workers, he said.

The department has given a few doses for private hospitals for administering it to their healthcare workers. 

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News Network
January 25,2023

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India, as of the moment, does not have access to 26 out of 65 patrolling points in Eastern Ladakh. The situation is worthy of mention considering India-China stand-off along the 3500 km border.

“Presently there are 65 PPs (Patrolling Points) starting from Karakoram pass to Chumur which are to be patrolled regularly by the ISFs (Indian Security Forces). Out of 65 PPs, our presence is lost in 26 PPs (i.e. PP no. 5-17, 24-32, 37, due to restrictive or no patrolling by the ISFs,” wrote PD Nitya, the Superintendent of Police of Leh, Ladakh’s main city, in a research paper accessed by media. 

The report was filed at last week's annual conference of the country's top police officers in Delhi, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

"Later on, China forces us to accept the fact that as such areas have not seen the presence of ISFs or civilians since long, the Chinese were present in these areas. This leads to a shift in the border under control of ISFs towards Indian side and a "buffer zone" is created in all such pockets which ultimately leads to loss of control over these areas by India. This tactic of PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) to grab land inch-by-inch is known as 'Salami slicing'," it said.

"PLA has taken advantage of the buffer areas in the de-escalation talks by placing their best of cameras on the highest peaks and monitoring the movement of our forces... they object our movement even in the buffer zone, claiming it to be 'their' area of operation and then further ask us to move back to create more 'buffer' areas," the officer wrote.

She said this Chinese strategy was seen in Galwan Valley, the site of a deadly clash in 2020 when 20 Indian troops and at least four Chinese soldiers died in hand-to-hand fighting.

Ms Nitya also said that marking areas as out of bounds and keeping them barren affects troop morale as well. "During an interaction with one senior officer whose unit is based right on forward area, he shared that, if by retreating 400 metres back, we can buy peace with PLA for 4 years, then it's worth it," the report said.

The report was released after a mere few weeks of India accusing China of “unilaterally changing the status-quo” on the Line of Actual Control (LOC).

The encounter in the Galwan Valley in 2020, which sparked a major uptick in tensions between the two nations, was considered to be the most serious confrontation since the December 9 incident in Arunachal Pradesh. Since then, there have been a number of military negotiations that have resulted in a cautious withdrawal of forces on both sides.

AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi accused PM Modi of being the weakest PM India has had for “ceding land to China”.

Delhi chief minister (CM) and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal also accused the Centre of continuing and increasing trade with Beijing despite Chinese aggression.

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