Kerala MLA P.C. George is known for his outspoken behaviour. On Tuesday night, the MLA vandalised a barrier at a toll tax plaza near Thrissur. The whole incident was captured on CCTV.
What is happening here?
On CAM: Kerala MLA and his aides break the barrier at Paliyekkara toll plaza. The incident happened when the toll officials asked the MLA to pay the toll amount pic.twitter.com/alKA8PcGGC
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) July 18, 2018
The CCTV footage captured the vehicle at 11:30 PM at the toll plaza. The footage shows the MLA getting down from his white Audi A4 and trying to remove the toll barrier. He was joined by his aides who pushed away the toll barrier to open up the lane. The toll booth employee comes out of his cabin but did not say anything to the MLA. P.C. George then goes back to his car and drives away.
The incident happened after the toll officials asked the MLA to pay the toll tax to pass through. However, the MLA was reluctant to pay the tax and started verbally abusing the toll booth officials. Following the altercation, the MLA got down from the vehicle and pushed the automatic boom barrier to the side. The CCTV footage does not show the incident before the vandalism though. The MLA got infuriated after repeated requests for paying the toll by the booth officers.
There have been numerous such incidents when people in power or people who are connected to politicians have denied paying toll tax. Many incidents have involved shootouts and fist fights too. However, nothing of the sort happened here and the MLA left the spot as soon as the lane was open.
Toll tax barriers on highways create massive jams and increase travel time significantly. While the general public has to pay the toll tax, a few people are exempt from paying tax. Such people include the President of India, Prime Minister of India, Chief Justice of India and a few people in senior official posts who are allowed to pass the toll without any stoppages.
Toll tax is collected by contractors for maintenance of the road condition of the highway, provide basic infrastructure like toilets on the way and emergency services. Interestingly, Nitin Gadkari recently said that toll tax will never stop from being levied on Indian roads. However, the government has made the Fast Tag mandatory for all new cars sold in India, which decreases the waiting time at toll plazas.