Hejamady villagers: No tollgate construction until demands met

Team Udayavani, May 25, 2018, 3:15 PM IST

Udupi: Residents of Hejamady village have been demanding for drinking water supply, provision of street lights, and construction of three bus shelters. Since their demands have not yet been met, they have urged the concerned suspend the works, and resume the construction of tollgate near Hejamady Guddeyangadi only after their demands are met.

The current tollgate is located on national highway 66 at Hejamady Bastipadpu. Many vehicles take advantage of an existing road via Guddeyangadi and Kannagar which connects with the national highway beyond the toll gate thus eveading the toll gate payment and depriving it of its legitimate revenue. Navayuga Company, which manages this tollgate, had begun to dig the PWD road to build tollgate there two years ago but the gram panchayat had opposed the move. The panchayat had demanded that the company should meet certain basic requirements of Hejamady village before going ahead with tollgate construction.

The district administration bowed to the pressure and made the company to suspend the work and promised the village to provide basic amenities as demanded. But, none of their demands have been met yet.

Since the last two days, as per permission obtained from National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), tollgate construction has resumed at Guddeyangadi. Hejamady gram panchayat president, Vishalakshi Puthran, vice president, Sudhakar Karkera, gram panchayat members and villagers went to the spot and urged the concerned to stop tollgate work.

On this occasion, the policeman obtained a copy of the proceedings recorded at the special Gram Sabha convened on October 23, 2017, in the presence of project director of NHAI, Vijayakumar Samson and other officials, and sent the villagers away by promising to speak to the concerned.

The work on tollgate cannot be suspended as district administration has given its consent for the work, clarified Padubidri station house officer, Sathish. He asked the gram panchayat president to approach the deputy commissioner of the district.

At a meeting attended by the deputy commissioner, the deputy commissioner had orally instructed the company to meet certain demands of the villagers which had been conveyed to the deputy commissioner who was present at the meeting. The gram panchayat and villagers are not opposed to development, explained Vishalakshi.

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