Roll back toll rate hike: PMK urges centre
Anbumani urged the government to audit the collection of toll plazas and make a decision on which plaza should be closed
CHENNAI: Requesting to audit the revenue generated by toll plazas, PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss has urged the central government to roll back the hike in toll, which would come into effect from September 1.
In his statement, Anbumani said that announcements have been made to increase toll rates in 28 toll plazas including Vikravandi, Omalur, Dharmapuri, and Samayapuram from September 1. "Hike will be between Rs. 5 and Rs. 150. As the people are already suffering due to price increase of essential commodities, the toll rate hike will pave the way for further increase of essential commodities' prices, " he noted.
He recalled that rates were increased for 27 toll plazas out of 55 toll plazas in the state in April.
"It is condemnable that rates are being increased every year without proper maintenance of roads. Also, there is no transparency in collecting the toll. A CAG report revealed that Rs. 28 Crore additional amount has been collected against the rules in Paranur toll plaza near Chengalpattu. Around 53 per cent vehicles have been given VIP access in the toll plaza. It is unjustifiable to increase the rates by allowing misconduct, " he opined.
Anbumani urged the government to audit the collection of toll plazas and make a decision on which plaza should be closed. "Toll collection should be stopped until the audit. Government should roll back the hike, " he urged.
Vijayakant warns of siege
DMDK founder Vijayakant also condemned the user fee revision from September 1 and warned that his party would lay siege to all the toll plazas if the hike was not dropped. “Hiking the user fees without controlling the price rise of essential items and maintaining the highways is unacceptable,” he said, demanding the NHAI to scrap the proposal.