MANGALURU: Taking umbrage to the inordinate delay of four lane work on NH 66 from Talapady to Kundapur, various associations fighting against this have decided to block all four toll booths on the stretch by the end of this month.

To put up a show of strength, these associations have come together under an umbrella platform named NH 66 .
Deviprasad Shetty, president of the Samiti told reporters on Monday that a memorandum demanding stoppage of toll collection on these toll booths will be submitted to the government through the district deputy commissioner. He said the blocking of all four toll booths will be a certainty if the memorandum does not evoke a positive response.

Shetty alleged that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the concessionaire Navayuga Udupi Tollway Ltd operated in a nexus to show on papers that 90% of the work had been completed and hence obtained permission to collect toll.

Continuing the string of allegations, Shetty said the NHAI had twisted the original blueprint of the NH 66 project according to its convenience. This, he alleged, was the primary reason for regular traffic gridlock on the NH 66 at Padubidri, Kundapur, Baikampady, Pumpwell and Nantoor. Potholes dotting the entire stretch, bus stands developing rust within a year and inefficient LEDs in street lamps were among the other complaints against the NHAI.

Collection continues

It is pertinent to note that MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and district Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil had assured that the toll gates at Surathkal and Hejamady will be merged and toll collection stopped. However, as collection continues till date, Shetty sought to know the plight of ordinary citizens if the orders of the MP and DC were not heeded.
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