Installation of Toll Plaza snowballing into big controversy, protesters term it ‘Diwali gift’

Matador Union to stay off roads from today
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Oct 13: Establishment of Toll Plaza at Sarore in Samba district of Jammu region is snowballing into a big controversy and taking a shape of public movement in the region.
Not only the leaders of political parties, trade, transporters and other social organizations have expressed their strong resentment against the decision and held protests at different places since last two days, the Matador Union of Vijaypur has warned to remain off the roads from tomorrow against the decision.
The Union which held a meeting under the chairmanship of Raghuvir Singh Wagal, incharge Matador Union, Jammu to Suchani route at Suchani today said that they are left with no alternative but to go on strike from tomorrow in view of NHAI’s anti public decision of installing Toll Plaza at Sarore and slapping a hefty toll at the vehicles plying of National Highway.
The meeting decided that all matadors plying from Raya, Ranjadi, Suchani, Badoi Karyal etc routes to Jammu would remain off the roads from tomorrow till Toll Plaza is closed at Sarore. The meeting said that the public transport is already paying a heavy tax to Government and they can’t bear the more.
The Union said when the Toll Plaza was uprooted by BJP activists in 2013 and they did not allow its installation then how they are now mum after its installation and why there are different yard sticks on this account. The meeting demanded that the Toll Plaza be closed immediately as people in Jammu region are already facing many hardships.
The meeting among others was attended by Jagdish Singh, Neetu Jamwal, Jeevan Singh, Sansar Singh, Deepak Kumar all members of the Union.
Meanwhile protests continued for second consecutive day today in various areas of Jammu against the establishment of Toll plaza at Sarore in Samba district by NHAI. Nationalist Student Congress a student wing of NCP while showing resentment against the unwanted and unjustified decision of NHAI to establish Toll Plaza at Sarore said that the decision would create problems for the people of Jammu as a whole. They said the student community will be the first victim of this wrong step and this way the people of Jammu will be overburdened by taxes.
Er. Rishi Kaul Kilm, National Executive Council Member of the Wing, while addressing the protestors said that this way the BJP Government at Delhi has given a Diwali gift to people of Jammu and the protestors made an appeal to Union Minister of Surface Transport, Nitin Gadkari that the unwanted decision be scrapped.
Former MLA and NPP president, Balwant Singh Mankotia has also expressed his strong resentment over establishment of Toll Plaza at Sarore . He in a statement issued today said the economy and business of the State is totally paralyzed as it depends on tourism which is already affected after the abrogation of Article 370 and now NHAI has installed Toll Plaza where as there are already three Toll Plazas in Jammu region on the NH which is not only the route of pilgrims but also life line of economy of the State especially Jammu region.
Talking to reporters at Udhampur today Mankotia said establishment of Toll Plaza is totally unjustified and unfair as the people have to pay three different taxes a t three different places on the same Highway. He said when one person purchases a new vehicle he has to pay road tax in advance for 15 years and more over the cess on petrol and diesel which started during Vajpayee’s Government from 50 paisa per liter has now increased to Rs eight to nine per liter and third is now the Toll Tax which is totally unacceptable.
Jammu West Assembly Movement (JWAM) has also strongly condemned the decision of NHAI to install Toll Plaza and its president, Sunil Dimple has started a campaign to mobilize public opinion against the anti people decision. He visited various localities of Jammu and interacted with transporters, people and prominent citizens and heads of trade organisations and appealed them to join agitation against the decision.