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The arrest of three men said to be leaders of criminal gangs in Dakshina Kannada district has seen members of Hindutva outfits in Mangaluru up in arms. The Hindutva groups say two of the arrested men are their members and not criminals. Here is more...
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Snap Protest by Bus Crew at NITK Toll Booth, Surathkal
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A few of the bus crew resorted to a snap protest at the toll booth near NITK, Surathkal, on National Highway 66, against the hike in toll charges with effect from April 1. Traffic on the highway was blocked for about 30 minutes.
The NHAI had been collecting toll near NITK as a temporary arrangement to recover cost of construction of the four-lane road between Nantoor Junction and NITK as a part of the Port Connectivity Project since December, 2015.
The Authority revised the toll charges marginally with effect from April 1, as is being done elsewhere in the country. While there was no hike in charges for four-wheelers and light commercial vehicles, there was a hike by Rs. 5 for buses and trucks, as well as a hike for monthly passes by about Rs. 100.
When personnel managing the toll booth demanded enhanced charges, certain service bus crew reportedly protested and blocked the road. However, crew of express buses plying between Mangaluru-Udupi and beyond did not join the protest. After the intervention of Surathkal police, the situation came to normal.
K. Rajavarma Ballal, President of Canara Bus Operators Association, told that the NHAI had offered express buses Rs. 5,100 per month per bus fee package under which one bus could do any number of trips in a day. Express bus operators have no issue with the enhanced toll as they have not received any communication in this regard from NHAI, he said.