After ban, toll tax imposed on people’s movement on highway

Toll Plaza

SRINAGAR — People on Tuesday protested against authorities for imposing toll tax near Sangam on Srinagar-Jammu highway in south Kashmir.

A number of people sad that the toll plaza was made operational from today and every vehicle passing through it was charged a toll tax of rupees 85 for every light motor vehicle.

“This is outrageous. How can government impose such a harsh order against people of Kashmir asking us to pay rupees 170 per day from moving to and fro on the highway,” said a person, showing a receipt of Rs 85 collected as toll tax by National Highways Authority of India.

Another person from Ganderbal said that he was shocked when asked to pay Rs 85 before being allowed to move on the thoroughfare.

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“We don’t earn as much as what is being charged. Having already banned civilian traffic on highway by virtue of an order on April 03, it seems that the authorities by imposing such a harsh tax, the government has decided to completely shut the highway for the civilians throughout the week,” he said, adding someone told me that it is not applicable for people living within the radius of 20 kilometers from the Toll Plaza.

“I fall beyond the limits, meaning thereby that I have to pay Rs 170 every day when I move beyond Sangam and on return back,” he said.

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As the toll was started to be collected from today, most of the people protested against it and refused to pay, leading to the traffic jam on the highway around the toll plaza, reports and eyewitness said.

When contacted Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Khan said that the issue was taken up by him with the authorities in New Delhi, and from now onwards people living within 20 kilometers radius of Toll Plaza will not have to pay anything.

“A formal notification in this regard will be issued soon,” the Divisional Commissioner said.

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