With effect fro April 1 the toll collection ends at gateways to Srirangam island
TRICHY: In response to the long-pending demand of local people, Trichy City Corporation on Monday vacated the toll collection centres in all the three gateways to the Srirangam island. Corporation officials said that they will not lease out the toll collection contract to private operators from the current financial year in the view of public demand. Even before Srirangam municipality was amalgamated with Trichy City Corporation in 1994, the collection of entry fee was in place at the island between the Cauvery and Kollidam. Apart from collecting money from the visitors to the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, the toll booth operators had at times stopped the residents of Srirangam and collected fee. The fee collectors at Amma Mandapam Road near Mambalasalai, Gandhi Road near Thiruvanaikoil, and Kollidam Flood Bank Road near Yatri Nivas even collect entry fee from the relatives of the residents who visit them. “Visitors to our residence had a tough time arguing with the operators to get past the toll collection points. We are happy about the new development,” S Veerasekaran, a resident of Thiruvanaikoil said.
The toll booths are charging Rs 40 from even tourist cars though the charge was fixed only for tourist buses and vans. Many see the collection of fee as a daylight robbery as there is no designated parking lot for visiting vehicles at Srirangam. There were widespread protests against the toll booths for the past few years, and corporation commissioner N Ravichandran on February 11 had announced that the toll collection would be terminated with effect from April 1. As per the directive, Srirangam zone official of the corporation vacated the toll booths at three places in the early hours on Monday.