SINCE Jan 1, Medan Kesastria Sdn Bhd, the owner of a plot of land with a 12km alternative route from Kampung Timah to Bukit Tagar, has been charging a RM2 toll for motorists using the road.
The motorists are also given receipts.
Residents said they had used the road for more than 30 years until the landowner became greedy and started charging motorcyclists and drivers.
The collections are being made at a point about 5km from the Bukit Beruntung Golf Club.
Motorists can use an alternative toll-free route through Jalan Bukit Tagar or Ladang Bukit Beruntung but this is said to be about 30km longer.
Landowner Ramazan Omar, 40, was quoted in the media as saying that motorists had to pay the toll to use the road and those who failed to do so would be regarded as trespassers.
According to the reports, Ramazan had been charging RM10 for three-tonne lorries to use the road since he became the owner of the 17.16ha plot of land on April 11, 2005.
Razaman claimed that he had obtained permission from the Hulu Selangor District Land Office to collect the toll but the question remains on how he was given permission.
Locals said about 50 people used the route daily to get to the farms.
Hulu Selangor district councillor Cheah Chee Mun said the land owner had become greedy and enforced the toll on all motorists.
“The farmers are upset as they have been using the route for about 30 years to get to their land,” Cheah said, adding that he believed the landowner could rake in up to RM16,000 each month.
Another district councillor Santokh Singh Gurdev Singh said he would bring up the matter at the next Hulu Selangor District Council (MDHS) full board meeting and would inform the land office to look into the matter.
“I am surprised that the Land Office had given the owner permission to collect toll. There is no justification to do so,” he said.
MDHS president Tukiman Nail was unsure if the land owner had any right to collect the toll but said he would look into it.
However, he added that the land office could exercise its right to issue a “Right of Public Way” to the owners if it wanted to open the road.
Meanwhile, Hulu Selangor district officer Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said the land office had demolished the toll booth three times and had informed the land owner to warn the company that was renting the land and charging the toll.
“We can not fine the private company and can only fine the land owner, who is not the one collecting the toll.
“We have already issued a warning notice to the land owner,” he said.