‘Ban Toll Plaza charging high amount, NHAI mute spectator’

MC councillor Amit Sharma addressing press conference at Reasi on Saturday. —Excelsior/Mengi
MC councillor Amit Sharma addressing press conference at Reasi on Saturday. —Excelsior/Mengi

Excelsior Correspondent

REASI, June 20: Senior Congress leader and Councillor Municipal Committee Reasi, Amit Sharma today alleged that very high rates are being charged from the road users at Ban Toll Plaza by the people at the helm of affairs while the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has failed to control `plunder’ at the Toll Plazas in the region despite repeated public protests.
Addressing a press conference here today, the Congress leader launched a scathing attack on local former BJP MLA, Baldev Sharma for his statement on Friday wherein he had mentioned that `Toll is not a big issue, some people are making it big’, Councillor MC Reasi, Amit Sharma said while general public in Katra, Pouni, Arnas, Mahore, Reasi and even Dansal- Jindra area have been crushed with the exhorbitant Toll Tax rates which are being hiked every year at Ban, unfortunately BJP leaders were terming it as `no big issue’. He alleged that some leaders of that party are said to be the part of `plunder’ on the highway. Therefore, they are supporting such anti-people moves of the Government.
Sharma further said his party and he individually was not against the Toll tax, but the question arises whether Rs 140 one side Toll tax for LMV was justified at Ban Toll Plaza. It has been hiked thrice during last three years. There were many protests by public and activists of political parties but each time BJP leaders came out for the rescue of the contractors. Even NHAI officers acted as mute spectators.
The Reasi Councillor pointed out that public is beig forced to pay three types of taxes for use of road which is very strange and shocking. He said when one person purchases a vehicle, he is made to pay 15 years ‘ advance road tax to Govt, then cess on petrol/ diesel per litre for using roads and then Toll tax for using roads/ highways, which is most unfair, unjustified and unacceptable. This is mere exploitation of public by the ruling Government. He termed the policy of NHAI as totally faulty which amounts to open `loot’ on the pockets of common man. He demanded that Government must review this policy and withdraw all the Tolls Plazas, otherwise, public will be forced to come out on the roads. He alleged that some BJP leaders by making such irrelevant statements are digging their own graves and will have to face public wrath. Councillors Ashok Bali and Mohd Ramzan also accompanied.