ERODE: Motorists alleged that the forest department doesn’t give receipt for the toll collected at the Bannari checkpost on National Highway 948 in Erode district. Many also claimed that officials respond in a harsh manner when they ask for a receipt.
NH 948 goes from Dindigul to Bengaluru and passes through Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR). It is mainly used for cargo transportation between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. As per the guidelines, the checkpost in Bannari at Dhimbam Ghat road charges an entry free of Rs 20 for cars, Rs 30 for vans, Rs 50 for six wheelers and so on.
Murugan, a tour operator at Anaikatti in Coimbatore, said, “I went to Mysore on Friday morning through the Dhimbam Ghat road by car to pick someone up, when an entry fee of Rs 20 was collected by the department and a receipt was issued. But, they charged me again while I was returning that evening. This time they refused to give me a receipt.”
“If you pay on departure, you shouldn’t be charged if you return within 24 hours. However, the officials asked me to pay. I asked them to put up a notice board regarding this, but they scolded me. All vehicles are being charged like this in the check post. Higher officials of the department should take appropriate action,” he added.
S Subramanian, District President of CITU, said, “Many people have complained about the same issue at the check post. We are telling people not to pay toll at that post.” Field director of STR, S Ramasubramaniam, told TNIE, “The motorists shouldn’t be charged if they return within 24 hours. The authorities will investigate and take action.”