Bengaluru, Mar 16 (PTI) Citing "unnecessary politicisation" as the reason behind the protests against toll collection on newly opened Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday said the government was following the law.
He specifically hit out at opposition Congress and its state president D K Shivakumar for "politicising" the issue.
"Before NHAI came in, everyone knew it would be a toll road. It is being politicised, especially by Congress president D K Shivakumar, not the common people. His use of language, his conduct won't bring respect to Kannadigas," Bommai said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, "we are going by law, we will not do anything against the law, we have allowed vehicles on service roads at several places and there is no toll there. Unnecessarily it is being politicised." Several organisations, including the Congress, have held protests at toll plaza on the expressway near Ramanagara, during the last two days, opposing the toll collection.
The protesters are opposed to collecting toll fees until the entire project is completed. They have also expressed reservations regarding service roads not being built at several places, passes not being issued for local residents, and the toll rate fixed being too high.
On March 12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 118-km Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway project. It reduces the travel time between Bengaluru and Mysuru from around three hours to about 75 minutes, according to officials.
The Rs 8,480 crore project involved six-laning of the Bengaluru-Nidaghatta-Mysuru section of NH-275.
Responding to a question regarding incidents of forest fire in parts of the State, the Chief Minister said, such incidents are normal during the summer, and that he has instructed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests to prepare an action plan regarding preventive measures, and certain technical measures that need to be taken to control the spread, wherever possible.
"Our personnel have been successful in dousing the forest fire so far," he added. PTI KSU RS KSU KH KH