VELLORE: Welcoming the direction of the Madras High Court on Wednesday to nominate a team of experts to inspect and submit a report on the condition of the National Highway between Vellore and Chennai, users of the highway have demanded that they be represented in the committee and their views be heard. The HC’s direction came in response to a petition filed by one V R S Sampath, who contended that the toll was meant for providing a clean and quality road. If road users were made to suffer, the collection would be improper, he had stated.
The petitioner had prayed that the authorities be directed to stop toll collection until the repair work is completed. The HC, while passing an interim order, had asked the Indian Roads Congress to nominate a team of experts to inspect the highway stretch.
Dr Vijay Govindarajan, a private bus operator here said it would be more appropriate to include local road users in the committee, who were facing difficulties and could offer solutions.
Ganesh, a tyre dealer said, the authorities were collecting toll despite the fact that repair works were underway between Wallajah and Chennai for the past six months. . Under these circumstances, toll collection would be against the interest of road users, he argued.
Retired professor Bharathidasan said, there was no logic on the part of the NH authorities in hiking the toll fee without ensuring proper facilities. “Between Wallajah and Chennai, the highway is yet to be expanded to six lane and before the work completion, toll is being collected,” he said. Social activist R Chandrasekaran said, the government should create a separate highway for those not wanting to pay toll. The government should come out with a White Paper on the toll issue,” he said.