DMK MP Thamizhachi Thangapandian, in a letter addressed to Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari, has requested removal of toll plazas on Rajiv Gandhi Salai aka Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) and the East Coast Road (ECR). Listing out the five toll plazas that fall under the control of the Greater Chennai Corporation - Perungudi OMR toll, OMR toll on the 200-ft radial road, IETL toll, ECR toll gate in Sholinganallur and Uthandi toll, the MP from Chennai South constituency has highlighted the “frustrating experience” users go through by waiting for long during peak hours.
“Particularly during the peak hours, people have no choice to wait for long hours to pass these toll plazas. The local residents and those who commute to work in this region undergo every day this frustrating experience of long wait for more than 30 minutes during peak hours,” she writes in the letter posted on her social media account.
The MP goes on to explain that the very purpose of easy travel is defeated due to the presence of toll plazas on both Rajiv Gandhi Salai (OMR) and East Coast Road within the city limits. Adding that people are forced to pay tolls, Thamizhachi says that people have been protesting for a long time, demanding the toll plazas’ removal.
Just a few weeks ago, the Paranur toll plaza on the outskirts of Chennai, was vandalised following a fracas that ensued between toll plaza workers and crew members from a state-owned bus. According to reports, when the argument turned into a scuffle, passengers and crew members from other buses and the public too jumped into the fight, vandalising the facility.
தென்சென்னைத் தொகுதிக்குட்பட்ட சுங்கச்சாவடிகளில் அதிக கட்டணம், போக்குவரத்து நெரிசல் போன்றவற்றைத் தெரிவித்து, அச்சுங்கச்சாவடிகளை நீக்க வலியுறுத்தி மாண்புமிகு மத்திய சாலைப் போக்குவரத்து மற்றும் நெடுஞ்சாலைத்துறை அமைச்சர் திரு.@nitin_gadkari அவர்களிடம் கோரிக்கை மனு வழங்கினேன். pic.twitter.com/h13cmzqfRk— தமிழச்சி (@ThamizhachiTh) February 11, 2020
Soon after the incident, PMK leader S Ramadoss had requested for the closure of all toll plazas that have been functioning beyond the permissible period. The leader had reportedly called it the “worst form of exploitation”.