Toll collection at Paliyekkara likely to resume as company attempts to deploy new staff

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Paliyekkara toll plaza | Photo: J Philip|Mathrubhumi

Paliyekkara: The company in charge of Paliyekkara toll collection has initiated action to deploy new staff to resume operations at the plaza. The toll collection was temporarily suspended on Tuesday after 20 staff turned COVID positive.

The district collector had ordered to immediately isolate the staff who came into contact with the patients.

As 20 tested positive for COVID-19, the toll plaza was identified as a COVID cluster on Tuesday. All toll booths were opened for traffic after toll collection was suspended.

Meanwhile, vehicles which carried FASTag and passed through FASTag tracks were charged the toll amount as usual.

But observing the high number of vehicles without FASTag registration, the company is planning to resume the toll collection with new staff.

Meanwhile, two more employees at the toll plaza tested COVID positive, and the total number of patients touched 22. 17 of them are housed at CFLTC.

Out of the 155 staff, 95 persons were found to be in the high-risk primary contact category. Observing this, the district collector directed to remove all the staff working at the toll plaza from duty and shift them to CFLTC or quarantine centre.

22 employees at the toll plaza tested COVID positive in the tests carried out in 2 days by the mobile unit of the health department.

The health department directed 38 people who skipped the test to undergo antigen test immediately and hand over the test results. They are advised to undergo the test at their own expense.

The health department restricted the toll plaza authority from resuming operation with any of the 155 staff members who came into contact with the patients. The department recommended that if necessary the company can deploy new staff to resume operations.

A total of 161 people including 3 divisional heads are employed at the toll plaza. At present, district authority has no power to ban toll collection. Hence, the district collector and health department ordered to remove the current staff from the toll collection.

It is not practical for the company to deploy trained staff with technical expertise in the field immediately.

Apart from toll booth staff, employees from NHAI inspection and maintenance are also listed among high-risk category.

The contact list of the toll plaza staff was found to be vast. The hotels near the toll booth were also closed as directed by the health department.

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