Angry Over Toll Plaza, Villagers Build Their Own Road In Parallel To Highway

The residents of Hejamadi created a parallel road along the toll booth  on the busy Mengaluru-Udupi highway to make a way for the local buses. 

Ever since then, FASTag has been mandated for all vehicles.

There have been frequent clashes between locals and toll companies over concession issue.

A “Parallel” Road Along The Booth

In fact, many locals are demanding to be provided with toll-free service roads as an alternate option. However, it is not possible on most of the roads. Recently, villagers in the coastal Karnataka decided to make it possible for themselves too and thus the residents of Hejamadi created a ‘parallel’ road along the toll booth on busy Mangaluru-Udupi highway.

Once the FASTag was mandated, only the vehicles belonging to Hejamadi village were given concession. Since that time around four buses, those which picked up passengers from village, were not given any leeway whatsoever. The local gram panchayat also petitioned the concessionaire for concession to all buses. Though they were promised a concession over time, it never came.

Then, the gram panchayat held an emergency meeting and with the assistance of earth excavating machines, created a parallel road next to the toll booth and constructed a short lived ‘toll-free’ road. As news reached the headquarters, a representative of the concessionaire rushed to the spot and requested to prevent the development.

However, the villagers were in no mood to relent and said they’re going to agree as long as their demands were met the road work was halted only after the concessionaire gave them a written assurance.

For A Toll Free Road

Bangalore Mirror has been reporting about the frequent clashes between the concessionaires and toll operators after FASTag was made mandatory. NHAI officials said despite issuing passes, many locals were travelling freely and didn’t want to pay the toll. However, with FASTag, physical passes are discontinued and locals also got to choose FASTag then seek concession. Protests were held at the airport tract near Devanahalli, where the locals are demanding a toll-free road.

They claim that motorists, especially the locals, should be given an option of travelling either in toll-free roads or roads that require tolls. Currently, in Bengaluru, the Nelamangala highway features a toll-free road where the motorists have an option of selecting either of the roads. However, other roads like the airport road or Hosur road (near Attibele) have no option but to pay the toll once they cross the road.

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