VELLORE/ VILLUPURAM : Around 60 cadre of the Tamizhaga Vazhurumai Katchi (TVK) protested at the Pallikonda toll plaza here on Saturday, demanding an end to toll collection.
The protest was led by TVK party treasurer Akram Khan and was attended by the State vice- president Sivakumar. The cadre raised slogans against the Central government and demanded that it stop collecting toll.
Akram Khan said, “The Central government should look into the matter immediately and remove the toll plazas across the State. As per the instruction of our party president Velmurugan, we are holding the protest here. Our protests will be held throughout the State and we will not stop till our demands are met.”
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had planned to increase the tollgate fee by 15 per cent from September 1. Opposing this, the TVK organised the protest. When the TVK cadre marched towards the Pallikonda toll plaza, police arrested them.
Meanwhile in Villupuram about 500 members of TVK, including its founder T Velmurugan, staged a protest near the Vikravandi tollgate on Saturday, against the collection of toll fee across the State.
On information, the police officials went to the spot, detained the agitators in a private marriage hall and later released them.
The agitators said there was no need for collecting the fee as they were paying enough as road tax. “NHAI is burdening the common people with the additional fee,” said T Velmurugan.
The Central government obtains funds from the World Bank to develop the roads, later allow their construction and maintainence to the private contractors, who in turn, levy high fee on the road-users, Velmurugan added.
The protest was held in several other places in Villupuram district.