Protesters threaten to destroy Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway toll plaza, detained

Bengaluru: Several protesters were detained here on Tuesday after they threatened to destroy the toll plaza on the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway as the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) began toll collection.

The Congress also joined the protesters, who are demanding the building of service roads.

The NHAI’s 10-lane expressway was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday. Amid the opposition, the NHAI has begun the collection of toll under heavy police cover.

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The protesters along with the Congress party are contending that the NHAI cannot collect the toll fee until the completion of the project. They claim that the service roads have not been built in the stretch. The agitators are also demanding that the toll rate fixed for the expressway is way too high.

The protesters were taken into custody from the Sheshagiri Halli toll plaza near Bidadi in the outskirts of Bengaluru. The protesters waved black flags and shouted slogans against the ruling BJP governments at the state and Center.

Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar had earlier slammed the government for inaugurating an incomplete project and warned that his party won’t allow the BJP government to inaugurate the expressway.

The 10-lane expressway has been projected as one of the biggest contributions of the double engine government. All major political parties in the state are engaged in a war of words for claiming the credit. The express built at a cost of Rs 8,479 crore. PM Modi has said that the project will encourage the development of the whole region.

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