Public block Tirumangalam toll plaza

The decry collection of fee from all vehicle users

MADURAI

Vehicular movement on the arterial four-way lane connecting Madurai and Virudhunagar was hit after many local residents from Tirumangalam, taxi and autorickshaw drivers, lorry operators and others blocked the toll fee plaza on Saturday.

Demanding the authorities to ensure a court directive that the local vehicle users (Tirumangalam Town) were allowed to pass the toll fee plaza without payment, the agitators claimed that the plaza operators, however, insisted on collection of money from all vehicle users passing the point. It may be recalled that the plaza was inaugurated 12 years ago.

Many drivers operating on Tirumangalam-Usilampatti stretch to T. Kallupatti and Rajapalayam side said that they used the four-way lane for about a kilometre and still paid the fee every time. The residents from Tirumangalam alleged that some of the toll staff were rude and threatened with dire consequences if they failed to pay the toll fee.

Though the elected representatives from the AIADMK, DMK and other parties had promised to shift the toll fee plaza by about four kilometres as it would relieve the residents in Tirumangalam, it had not been done till date, they claimed. The mofussil bus operators in the region also demanded a permanent solution to this problem.

Even after a meeting was held in the presence of the Collector and the police about a fortnight ago, the toll operators had resumed to collect fee from the local users. Hence, they resorted to a road blockade.

As the news spread, police and revenue authorities led by ADSP Mani, RDO Anitha held talks with the agitators. The authorities said that within about 10 days, the issue would be resolved following which the agitators dispersed.

For about two hours, traffic was hit and vehicles had piled up on both the sides for over three kilometres, police said.

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