HC bans toll on Sabari roads

The Kerala High Court on Friday prohibited Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) from collecting toll from vehicles on any of the roads leading to Pampa.

“The concept of toll and the eligibility of a person to collect toll are regulated by laws. There is no notification issued by any competent authority under the Tolls Act authorizing TDB to collect toll,” a division bench comprising Justices Thottathil. B. Radhakrishnan and K.Vinod Chandran said in the order.

Sabarimala special commissioner S. Jagadees in his report had submitted that a total of Rs 2.4 crore was being spent for road maintenance every year. The court asked the Board to hand over the amount to the contractor.

Meanwhile, counsel for TDB pointed out that the court had earlier directed the police to provide adequate police protection for toll collection at Chalakkayam.

To this the court observed that the police protection meant to meet any law and order problem and the prohibition on toll collection would stand.

The bench, however, allowed the Board to collect parking fee from vehicles at Sabarimala.

Recently, a protest rally by Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of BJP, against toll collection at Chalakkayam had turned violent when the agitators numbering around 200 smashed signboards and office.

The Yuva Morcha had alleged that the toll collection amounted to exploitation of pilgrims.


۩ Ayyappa DevoteeZ ۩

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