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Kolhapur: Shetkari Sangathana activists uproot toll booth

india Updated: Dec 29, 2014 20:47 IST

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Tensions continues to simmer in Kolhapur after an IRB toll collection booth on a road project developed by the company was uprooted by activists of the Shetkari Sanghatana on Monday, using a crane.

Later, they marched towards the IRB's toll booth at Shahu Naka, but the police intervened and saved the booth, police sources said.

Monday's incident took place after scuffles between IRB workers and activists led by Shetkari Sangathana's district president Bhagwan Kate.

Bhagwan Kate who was coming towards Kolhapur on Sunday night, observed a traffic jam at Shahu Naka toll booth and enquired what was happening, but IRB workers manhandled him.

During this incident, Kate lost some important papers and his money purse. Kate reported the incident to the Rajarampuri police station late night on Sunday.

Later, IRB's toll booth was uprooted using a crane at Shiroli. Police officials have confirmed the incident and said that those responsible are now in police custody.

Meanwhile, guardian minister of Kolhapur Chandrakant Dada Patil held a meeting on Sunday with the anti-toll action committee, where he assured that Kolhapur's roads would be made toll-free in two months.

Patil said that that IRB had demanded excessive sums for the work done and so the Maharashtra government plans to revaluate the project as well as work done by the IRB, for which a committee has been appointed.

A Rs 220-crore project to construct internal roads in Kolhapur city was sanctioned to IRB, which claims that work on 49.99 kilometres has been completed, though Kolhapur citizens are not satisfied because of several terms in the contract.

"When there is not a single city in Maharashtra where there is toll collection for internal roads, why has only Kolhapur been targeted," the Anti-Toll Action Committee activists asked.

IRB had demanded more than Rs 500 crore for work already done.