The Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) on Tuesday staged a protest against the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) Flyway operator over the hiked toll rates.
Around 40 farmers forcibly lifted the boom barriers and threatened to make the bridge toll-free, if the operator does not roll back the revised rates within 24 hours.
The Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL) has increased the toll rates by up to 20% from April 1.
“If they fail to roll back the hiked toll within 24 hours, we will make the flyway toll-free on Wednesday. In November last year, when the operator had collected increased toll for eight days, we had asked it to deposit the extra money collected to the district administration, which would be used for the city’s welfare. However, we are not sure if that has happened,” said Mahinder Singh Chaudhary, member of BKU.
City magistrate Sanjay Chauhan, along with circle officer-1 Shivram Yadav, reached the flyway to pacify the agitating farmers. Heavy police force from sector 20 and 24 police stations, along with a PAC company, was deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
“The revised toll was brought into effect after the Noida authority’s approval. We are negotiating with farmers,” said Anwar Abbasi, spokesperson, DND Flyway.
“In November last year, the operator had hiked the toll rates, but we had held protests and forced it to withdraw the move. The operator, in the presence of the then DM and the SSP, had assured us that the rates would not be increased. But just after six months, it has again increased the tax.
The company has earned a lot of money in the form of toll. The state government should make the road toll-free. Farmers will not pay the toll,” said Master Swaraj Singh, a BKU representative.
At present, four-wheeler owners have to pay Rs. 25 instead of Rs. 22, while two-wheeler drivers have to cough up Rs. 12 against Rs. 11.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Noida RWA has also handed over a memorandum to the DND authorities, seeking withdrawal of the increased rates.