Vadakancherry : Bus operators in Paniyankara are protesting against the private toll company for not resolving the issue of excess toll collection. The bus owners took out a march to the temporary Vadakanchery residence of CEO of the toll firm, KMC. Private buses started services Wednesday morning without making any payment at the toll plaza.
The focal point of protest is the excessiveness of the toll amount. Buses currently are evading toll and running services, knocking down barricades lined at toll. The bus have have hit road again after a gap of 23 days. Around 100 buses running Thrissur, Palakkad, Govindapuram, Kozhinjambara and Meenakshipuram routes had halted services during the time.
Although the meeting of Minister K Krishnankutty, Collector, the District Police Chief and others instructed to stop collecting excessive toll, the company refuses to abide. The National Highway Authority, controlled by the Centre, conducts toll collection in Panyinkara.
The company authorities decline to respond although contacted by authorities, including District Collector. They also failed to turn up at a meeting convened recently by PP Sumod MLA. The toll company expects private buses each to pay up at least Rs. 30,000 per month.
This huge demand comes even as Valayar check post levies just Rs 2300 per month. The bus owners in Panniankara are willing to pay Rs 10,540 per month. The toll company responds to the proposition saying only 50 passes shall be allowed through toll for Rs 10,540. That would mean buses running the Thrissur – Palakkad route conducting average of 4 services a day shall be able to run for just 12 days a month – a situation sure to doom private bus services here.
Protest is strong demanding for a permanent solution to the problem and protection of public transport.