Contractors refuse to accept demand for waiver of charges for Panniyankara residents
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Contractors refuse to accept demand for waiver of charges for Panniyankara residents

Thrissur: The local demand to exempt Vadakkanchery, Kizhakkenchery, Kannambra, Puthucode, Vandoor and Pananchery panchayats from toll collection at Panniyankara Toll Plaza has yielded no results even after a discussion held in Thiruvananthapuram. The collection of toll began two-and-a-half years ago.

The discussion with the contracting company was attended by ministers MB Rajesh, K Rajan, K Krishnankutty, R Bindu and MPs K D Prasenan and PP Sumod. Panchayat presidents also participated demanding a waiver of fees. There were widespread public protests against the demand for fees from local residents.

The government has proposed free travel for residents, but the company that has signed a contract to collect tolls has rejected the proposal, offering instead to reduce the monthly rate for residents from Rs 340 to Rs 300. Panchayat presidents, MPs and ministers have opposed it. Another round of discussions will be held in Thrissur later.

Thrissur Highway, owned by KMC Company, which constructed the road from Mannutha in Thrissur district to Vadakkanchery in Palakkad district on the national highway, started toll collection at Panniyankara.

In November last year, the Thrissur Expressway was taken over by Sekura, a Mumbai-based company. Panniyankara currently has the highest toll rates in the state. The toll for cars, jeeps, vans and other small motor vehicles is Rs 110, and if there is a return journey on the same day, the rate is Rs 160. For goods trucks, tourist buses and other heavy vehicles, the rate is Rs 350 for a single journey and Rs 520 for a return journey.