Clamour For Toll Withdrawal Grows Shriller

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SRINAGAR — Traders, transporters, commoners as well as politicians are seriously worried about the impact of levying toll tax on all types of vehicles plying on Srinagar-Jammu highway.  

On Wednesday, traders and transporters staged a strong protest against the administration’s decision to impose toll tax on all types of vehicles plying on Srinagar-Jammu highway.

The protesters under the banner of all traders and transporters joint coordination committee Anantnag termed the order on imposing the toll as “Shahi Farman” and demand rollback of the “harsh and anti-people step.”

The toll is being collected by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at the toll Post at Chursoo, Sangam in Anantnag district.

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Reports said that the traders and transporters staged the protest demonstration outside the office of Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, demanding that no toll tax shall be charged from common people who are already suffering from prolonged conflict and shattered economy.

The protesters comprising All Traders and Manufacturers Association Anantnag, Sumo Stand Union Janglatmandi, Bus and Matador Associations submitted a joint memorandum before Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, demanding an immediate rollback of the order to levy toll tax on passengers.

They said that the exemption of the tax from the people living within 20 kilometers radius is futile and all people from Jammu and Kashmir should be excluded from the purview of Toll imposition.

 “Laws, Regulations in a welfare state need to orient round social welfare, more so, when state be tormented by what not,” reads the memorandum.

They said most people here belong to downtrodden environs and were shocked on hearing heavy toll duty on a routine basis.  

 “We register our strong protest against the harsh anti-people step from the government and do appeal here to withdraw this heavy toll traffic as such moves will have a tremendous impact on trade and commerce and shall be revoked immediately,” the memorandum reads, continuing: “We are already facing tremendous hardships for various accounts. we have to pay loans, taxes and other expenses and this move is simply adding more burden on us which we may not cope with.”

They said the toll tax shall be collected from outsiders, heavy vehicles, tourists vehicles and not from local Kashmiri people as this will also increase the fare which will add to the miseries of people particularly poor strata of the society. “The order is nothing but anti-people and no government should resort to such anti-people measures”,  it said, adding “Representing the voice of the public against the barbaric “Shahi Farman”, the one never born in a social welfare state. The government should scarp down it and as an emergent response district, Anantnag be exempted from this day toll tariff.

Div Com Reviews Modalities  

In order to chalk out effective measures for smooth regulation of traffic on newly established toll plaza on Srinagar-Jammu highway at Chursoo, Sangam in Anantnag district, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan today convened a meeting to review the required modalities.

The government has already decided that people living within 20 kms on both sides of toll plaza would not have to pay any toll. The locals will be issued free travel passes for free movement.

Various other issues were also discussed threadbare in the meeting.

The Divisional Commissioner Kashmir directed the concerned officers to remove all bottlenecks immediately so that the commuters do not face inconvenience during their journey through newly established toll plaza on Srinagar-Jammu highway at Chursoo, Sangam in Anantnag district.

Deputy Commissioner Pulwama Dr Syed Abid Rashid Shah, IG CRPF, Officers of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Assistant Commissioner (central) and other concerned officers were present in the meeting where as SSP Awantipora participated in the meeting through video conferencing.

 


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