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HC to NHAI, Infra News, ET Infra


MADURAI: The Madras high court on Monday directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to collect only 50% of the toll fee at the Vagaikulam toll plaza situated on the four-lane highway stretch between Tirunelveli and Tuticorin, while hearing a plea complaining about the bad condition of the road.

A division bench of justice S S Sundar and justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy also directed the NHAI authorities to file a status report.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by S Ferdin Rayan. The petitioner stated that the 54km stretch of national highway 138 is an important route to reach the V O Chidambaranar Port in Tuticorin. A toll plaza is situated at Vagaikulam.

The highway was last laid in 2003 and since then only patchworks have been undertaken. This entire stretch of the road is filled with cracks and potholes due to which accidents are reported daily.

The highway crosses Thamirabarani river at Murappanadu through a major bridge, but it is damaged with cracks and holes. Due to this, a 2km stretch of this road including the bridge area was closed and the traffic is diverted on a single lane.

In spite of several protests and complaints, no action has been taken. The authorities said that the bridge repair work would be completed within a year. However, no work has commenced except removing the top layer of road and exposing the hold in the bridge. NHAI and its agents are keen on collecting full toll fees while the vehicles are put to hardship.

Hence, the petitioner moved the court seeking a direction to the authorities to repair, maintain the Murappanadu river bridge, relay the road and suspend the collection of the toll fee at the Vagaikulam toll plaza till then.

  • Published On Sep 12, 2023 at 01:13 PM IST

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