Karnataka: Gram panchayat builds parallel road to evade NH toll, wins fight | Mangaluru News – Times of India


UDUPI: A resolution adopted by the Hejmady gram panchayat has forced the National Highway tollgate authorities to allow free movement for all cars and buses to the village.
When the contractor – Navayuga Udupi Tollway Private Limited (NUTPL), stopped the free movement of all vehicles on the Hejmady NH tollgate, the 21-member gram panchayat headed by president Pranesh Hejmadi resolved to build a new parallel road to the village and thereby avoid toll payment. Accordingly, a new road parallel to the National Highway was built on March 30, so that all vehicles to Hejmady and Kodi villages can move without entering the tollgate. Soon after the development, the toll contractors agreed to allow free movement of all vehicles registered in the name of Hejmady villagers.
In a letter to the Hejmady gram panchayat dated March 30, NUTPL agreed that all light motor vehicles, cars, private buses including school buses in the Hejmady gram panchayat are exempted from toll payment. The toll contractors also have stated in their letter that the documents of such vehicles should be registered with the address within the gram panchayat limits.
Hejmady gram panchayat president Pranesh Hejmady told TOI that building a parallel road was a unanimous decision taken by 21 members in the gram panchayat. “They were not collecting toll from buses, school vehicles and cars that ply between the National Highway and Hejmady – Kodi. However, they stopped the toll exemption from March 23. Following this, we adopted a resolution in the gram panchayat and submitted a memorandum to the NUTPL. Though they agreed to consider our demand, we have not received any response. Later, we adopted another resolution and built a road by the side of tollgate. When vehicles started plying on the parallel road, the manager of the NUTPL requested us to stop the work and agreed to give toll exemption to vehicles from the village. Based on our request, the NUTPL authorities also issued a letter in this regard to the gram panchayat,” Pranesh said.
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Sagar Biswas

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