Delay in shifting toll plaza resented
The government had taken a decision to shift Panikoili toll plaza to Akhuapada on NH-16 six years back but the NHAI, though had assured to shift it, failed to do so.
Published: 29th October 2022 06:10 AM | Last Updated: 29th October 2022 06:10 AM | A+A A-
JAJPUR: Despite October 27, 2023 deadline, the failure to shift the toll plaza on National Highway (NH)-16 at Panikoili in Jajpur district to Akhuapada in neighbouring Bhadrak district by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has created resentment among vehicle owners and commuters who are forced to pay twice on the 44-km stretch.
The government had taken a decision to shift Panikoili toll plaza to Akhuapada on NH-16 six years back but the NHAI, though had assured to shift it, failed to do so. While one toll plaza is at Panikoili on NH-16, another is situated at Bandalo on the same stretch. Much to the chagrin of local commuters, another toll plaza is located at Srirampur on NH-53 (Chandikhole-Paradip express road) in Jajpur district, which is just 15 km far from Bandalo and 24 km away from Panikoili.
In 2016, the State government had said five out of the eight toll gates in the state belonging to the NHAI are illegal as they are built flouting the NHAI guidelines. Of them two toll gates at Panikoili and Srirampur on NH are in Jajpur district.
Sources said, the NHAI has deferred the shifting of Panikoili toll plaza to Akhuapada four times in the past four years. “The NHAI is illegally and arbitrarily collecting toll fees from us. We will launch a mass agitation if the toll plaza is not shifted soon,” said Narayan Biswal, Secretary Kuakhia Truck owners association. Toll plaza manager Bimal Sharma said he has no role in shifting of any toll plaza and the decision lies with NHAI.