Locals protest toll collection, block Biju Expressway in Sambalpur

KalingaTV News Network

Sambalpur: Protesting collection of toll taxes, hundreds of locals staged a road blockade near Pradhanpali village on the recently-inaugurated Sambalpur-Rourkela Biju Expressway in the district on Sunday.

The protesters staged the road blockade demanding toll exemption for the vehicles bearing registration number of Sambalpur district following which hundreds of vehicles were left stranded on both sides of the road.

Sambalpur Sub-Collector rushed to the spot along with a team of police and arrested more than 100 agitators. Five platoons of security personnel have been deployed in the site to maintain law and order and prevent any untoward incident.

The Sundergarh Nagarik Committee, various associations including the District Bar Association had observed a dawn- to- dusk bandh over the same issue yesterday.

Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had on March 12, inaugurated the expressway, which has been constructed under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode with the state government bearing 36 percent project cost while L&T paid 64 percent of the funds.

The executing agency, L&T has set-up three toll gates to collect nearly Rs 50 lakh rupees per day for the next 19 years.

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