A high-level meet chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has decided not to hike the toll rates at the agitation- hit plaza in Paliyekkara, Thrissur, on the Mannuthy- Edapally stretch of the National Highways, taking into account public sentiments against such a move.
The meet also decided to ensure service roads in the area, before finalising any revision in the toll rates. The rates were hiked up to 25 per cent for vehicles crossing the toll plaza with effect from October 1.
This was despite the bar imposed by Union Minister of Surface Transport Oscar Fernandes in this regard. However, the hike was rolled back soon after public ire mounted.
P C Chacko MP and other people’s representatives, cutting across political affiliations, had opposed the hiking of toll rates without providing an option for local people for cost-free movement through the service roads, as is the practice elsewhere.
The meeting was convened by the Chief Minister against this backdrop. Chandy told mediapersons here that development of roads in the state in future may not be possible without the toll system. ‘’No one is against implementation of the toll system for better roads in the state. But, at the same time, service roads have to be ensured for the benefit of general public,’’ he said.
Public Works Minister V K Ibrahim Kunju,P C Chacko MP, MLAs V D Devasia and C Raveendranath,and representatives of the toll company and the people’s agitation council attended the meet.