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Friday, January 27, 2023

Samiti demands reduction of bus fares in Mulki-Kinnigoli sector following permanent closure of Surathkal toll plaza

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Surathkal Tollgate Virodhi Horata Samithi has demanded reduction in bus fares following permanent closure of Surathkal toll plaza near Mangaluru.

The Surathkal Tollgate Virodhi Horata Samiti has urged private bus owners operating their services from Mangaluru towards Mulki, Kinnigoli, and Kateel via Surathkal to roll back toll charges included in bus fares.

Samiti convener Muneer Katipalla in a statement here said when the NITK-Surathkal toll plaza became operational seven years ago, private bus owners operating shuttle services from Mangaluru to Haleyangadi, Mulki, Kinnigoli, Kateel, and other rural areas had enhanced fares to balance the toll charges being paid at the plaza.

Even owners of express services operating between Mangaluru and Udupi had included the proportional toll charges in the bus fare.

Mr. Katipalla said the Surathkal plaza came to be closed permanently following the struggle by the samiti and the public. The benefit of abolition of toll charges should be transferred to passengers travelling in bus services in these areas. Majority of the passengers travelling these buses come from weaker sections of society working in the unorganised sector.

Therefore, bus owners who had been collecting ₹5 more over and above the regular fare, should roll back the fare to the original position. The Deputy Commissioner, who is also the chairman of the Regional Transport Authority, should issue necessary order to bus owners.

He also demanded that owners of express and shuttle services plying on the Mangaluru-Udupi-Kundapur sector too should roll back toll charges included in their fares, at least temporarily, as the combined toll collection at the Hejmady toll plaza was yet to commence.

All those who had been sharing toll charges of the Surathkal plaza should be given the benefit of closure of the toll plaza, he said.

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