Kochi: The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has sought the state government’s help in introducing toll collection at the 17-km Container Road saying the protest by local people against the toll has caused it a loss of Rs 25 crore so far. The NHAI constructed the stretch linking Kalamassery to Vallarpadam ICTT at a cost of Rs 900 crore. Though it proceeded to start toll collection in August 2015, the residents at Mulavukad staged a strong protest, demanding a service road there first.
“People are not allowing us to collect toll in the name of the service road. Even when we agree to construct one, there are coming out with new demands,” said a senior NHAI official. The NHAI agreed to construct a 2.6 km service road from Bolghatty to Kattathukkadavu and entrusted Kitco to submit a project report. The latter drew up a plan costing Rs 23 crore, the work of which was planned to be constructed in four phases. However, local residents wanted the whole stretch to be constructed in one go. The Kerala State Construction Corporation Limited (KSCCL), which is entrusted with setting up of the first phase of the service road, is set to cancel the initial contract doled out following the protest.