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Old 9th March 2010, 15:12   #1
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Default Hooligans at Madurai by-pass tollgate

Was on a trip from Chennai to Theni and back. While going to theni I went via Trichy - Dindugal - Kodai Rd Jn - Theni, road was good expect for patches on Trichy - Dindugal highway as four laneing was going on. While returning the ppl at Theni suggested we return via Theni - Andipatti - Madurai - Trichy. Taking their word for it, we started. Reached Andipatti and took a small road that would take us to Thirumangalam and to Madurai By-pass and effectively we could avoid Madurai. The road is small but good. We reach Tirunelveli - Madurai Highway and from there take the Madurai Bypass. This is the place where we met up with these hooligans.

The Madurai by-pass is not a such great stretch of road, and i feel collecting money for it was totally uncalled for. More over that on the first tollgate it was clearly written that it was 30 rs. for car or something and 75 rs. of bus/lorry. this guy at the toll gives us a 75 rs. ticket, and tells us to shell out 75 rs. I told him no. and by dad in the passenger seat had a 100 rs. note in his hand and this guy snatches it from him and gives back 25rs, . I was so infuriated, no amount of argument or reasoning seems effective with this guy. And now, all his colleagues also join in and argue that this is old rate and new rate is 75 rs. What really blew me off was, as we were returning from a pooja at an ashram at Theni we were accompanied in the car with some purohits. And now one of the toll gate staff brings in caste and lets couple of casteist remarks rip. I was totally taken back, we stood the ground, they then tried to threaten us and even said they would damage the vehicle. We dint budge. It was already 6 pm and we had to reach Chennai that night. My mom was quite disturbed by all this. So, we had no option but to leave the spot.

After, that there were about 3 or 4 tollgates on the by-pass. I dint stop in even one and pay the toll. I did this in a rush of blood and wanted to get back at them. After cooling off, I felt bad about not paying up at the other tolls. But, it was them who started it. These people made me break the law, for which I feel ashamed now. But, Would the ppl who harassed us at the tollgate feel ashamed for their action?

Last edited by Archish : 9th March 2010 at 15:14.
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Old 9th March 2010, 15:29   #2
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They will never feel ashamed. They know that people with families in the car will not get down to fight. So they took the advantage and started their trick. Added to this they were large in number and all are trained to be like that to deal with truck and other load carrier vehicles. So they did the same thing to you also. Only mistake from your side is you didn't complain in the next toll or to the authorities who were managing the toll and you didn't pay in the subsequent toll.
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Old 9th March 2010, 15:41   #3
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+1 to shishir.

Did they give you the toll receipt? Did it have Rs 75 mentioned in that. If that is the case, you can even raise a complaint with the state/central highways. Look up their site and give them your feedback.

It is always better to move on than to pick up an argument in a new place where you feel you do not have an upper hand or without any support.

As best as possible, please avoid night travel.
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Old 9th March 2010, 15:42   #4
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Madurai bypass seems to be notorious. I recall an incident in 2001 (9 years ago), when I had a big fight with a ruffian who was manning the first toll gate (from Melur side) and who did something similar. I refused to pay up, had a bi9g verbal fight and simply drove off. I complained at the next toll gate (past of the same bypass), looked to me like it was some local goonda who had commandeered the toll gate. Some things don't change, even in a decade!

Another bad episode happened in same Madurai district in 2000, when some local goons started collecting "toll" - of Rs 60 - at the bottom of the ghat road leading to Bodi Medu (Theni-Munnar NH49) - the ghat road used to be terrible in those days and these goons claimed that they were collecting money to "build" the new road - unheard of extortion!
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Old 9th March 2010, 15:55   #5
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@HVK sir,

Is there any policing that happens on national highways? Is there any separate group (central authority) or its up to the state police only? For example I have seen some TN highway patrol vans on NH7.

(Just for my clarification.)
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Old 9th March 2010, 16:01   #6
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I have seen police patrols in some States, mainly in dacoit-prone areas. But this is so insignificant, it may be appropriate to say there is no patrolling of highways. The only patrols one sees are intended to stop motorists and extort money under some pretext or the other, these are typically police jeeps parked at some police check post or waylaying you at some suitable junction/ turning in the highways.

As I have mentioned several times before, my only worry on highways is harassment by cops, they are the real dacoits of Indian highways, no matter which State you are in. They particularly love SUVs, and if the SUV is full, they invariably harass you on the pretext of the SUV being a taxi being run illegally.
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Old 9th March 2010, 16:20   #7
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I took the Madurai by-pass route last weekend when returning back to Chennai from Sengottai. I paid 30 rupees in the first toll, showed the receipt in the subsequent tolls and that's it. They let me pass. Just wondering now if they thought I had an up & down toll receipt.
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Old 9th March 2010, 18:21   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crossroads View Post
I took the Madurai by-pass route last weekend when returning back to Chennai from Sengottai. I paid 30 rupees in the first toll, showed the receipt in the subsequent tolls and that's it. They let me pass. Just wondering now if they thought I had an up & down toll receipt.

If i m right there are 2 tickets, one is 17 or 19 rs. that is valid only till the airport. 30 rs. ticket lets you pass all the tollgates till you reach the 4 lane highway. So, guess i have paid for all the tollgates and even more. so my act of rebellion was nothing but a comic piece.

@shishir_bn : yes, my mistake is that complaint at the next tollgate.

hvkumar : Yes, these tolls are managed my local goons. A certain son of a certain CM who has make Madurai his bastion.

Mods: I guess this is in the wrong section. Pls move to Street Experience.

Last edited by Archish : 9th March 2010 at 18:29.
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Old 9th March 2010, 18:49   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archish View Post
Yes, these tolls are managed my local goons. A certain son of a certain CM who has make Madurai his bastion.
Remember the scene in Tamil movie Gilli - 'Madurai Muthupandi' who is the son of the CM. Towards the end of the movie, the fellow slaps his father.

On a serious note, is this bypass in question on NH7? I am sorry I could not really get the exact location of this bypass.

NH7, between Tirumangalam and Madurai? Is that narrow road? Isn't that a 4 lane highway?
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Old 9th March 2010, 19:03   #10
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I always remain cautious with people in Madurai; I'm aware that not all people in Madurai are goons, however, I try to remain cautious
@Archish - Forget what has happened & pls don't feel guilty for not paying tolls at the other toll gate; next time, whenever you get a chance, pay a toll for someone behind you & make their day
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:01   #11
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Forget Madurai. Closer home on NICE Road, BLR : We were forced to pay toll rate of a LCV even though we were in a Gypsy. Reason ? He already punched in the receipt and cant change it now. We had already paid the cash, so couldnt get back the excess amount.

Moral of the story : Dont pay / hand over the cash till you get the receipt. Also, check the board and hand over exact change. Not a rupee in excess.
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Old 9th March 2010, 20:42   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
I have seen police patrols in some States, mainly in dacoit-prone areas. But this is so insignificant, it may be appropriate to say there is no patrolling of highways. The only patrols one sees are intended to stop motorists and extort money under some pretext or the other, these are typically police jeeps parked at some police check post or waylaying you at some suitable junction/ turning in the highways.

As I have mentioned several times before, my only worry on highways is harassment by cops, they are the real dacoits of Indian highways, no matter which State you are in. They particularly love SUVs, and if the SUV is full, they invariably harass you on the pretext of the SUV being a taxi being run illegally.
I guess the home ministry needs to look into this matter also. If we as a collective forum, can start an initiative or send a petition to the home ministry to look on this front? Or its a lost cause already?
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Old 9th March 2010, 21:47   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
Moral of the story : Dont pay / hand over the cash till you get the receipt. Also, check the board and hand over exact change. Not a rupee in excess.
I guess we need to have the same mental preparation and agility at toll gates like we have in fuel stations. <sigh>
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Old 10th March 2010, 00:22   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
I guess the home ministry needs to look into this matter also. If we as a collective forum, can start an initiative or send a petition to the home ministry to look on this front? Or its a lost cause already?
What can or will the home ministry do in this case? does highway authority not come under surface and transport ministry?

Nothing of this sort happened to me in NH7 from Karur to Nellai, from nellai to Madurai, from Madurai to dindigul and from dindigul to chennai.
Actually, the people I met on the booth were very courteous. They also gave me exact change, unlike the toffees I get on NH4 between pune and hubli.
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Old 10th March 2010, 00:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MX6 View Post
Nothing of this sort happened to me in NH7 from Karur to Nellai, from nellai to Madurai, from Madurai to dindigul and from dindigul to chennai.
Actually, the people I met on the booth were very courteous. They also gave me exact change, unlike the toffees I get on NH4 between pune and hubli.
That is because you took the new bypass on NH7 from Dindigul. The bypass which is being discussed is teh old bypass which connects the Madurai-Melur-Viralimalai-Trichy road to the Madurai-Tirunelveli NH7 which it joins just before Tirumangalam (and after the Dindigul road joins)
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