National Conference today described the levying of toll tax at Sarore on Jammu highway as arbitrary, unjust and an avoidable burden on the road and called for its immediate winding up in the larger interest of traders, industrialists, tourists, pilgrims and above all the commuters.
“The decision is all the more condemnable, as the government is already charging a cess of Rs 1 per litre petrol and diesel for construction, upgradation, improvement and upkeep of the roads”, senior National Conference leaders said in a joint statement issued from Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here.
The leaders wondered the rationale in levying road taxes when the people are bearing the burden indirectly by way of fuel cess. They strongly pitched for rolling back the decision on toll collection at Saroor Toll Plaza,
The National Conference leaders reiterated that the party had opposed tooth and nail the decision of putting in place a Toll Plaza at the initial stage but the government of the time looked to the other side thus creating a situation which is against the interests of the all segments of society.
The statement assailed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for ignoring the resentment registered by the stakeholders in a peaceful manner and urged the administration to shun confrontational approach, see reason in the overwhelming demand and roll back the decision on toll collection at Saroor Toll Plaza.
“‘ The statement pleaded and urged the government to take call on the issue on immediate basis.
The statement viewed with concern the reports of harassment and cautioned against such rowdy behaviour. It called for focused attention on the improvement and upgradation of roads, especially the highway instead of punishing the road users by way of taxes.
The National Conference leaders criticised the governments at the Centre and the State for pushing Jammu and Kashmir to the wall and their failure on all fronts.