Poor road quality with low toll tax collection except for few points on the National Highway has made roads almost a nightmare for the public. Adding to the woes is the good number of outdated vehicle population, poor awareness and lack of road sense among the drivers which has been a bane in Jammu and Kashmir for passengers and other road users. After the implementation of GST it was expected that toll tax would be removed from Jammu and Kashmir but it’s almost a year there has been no such move till date nor has the toll collection been healthy. The traders have protested also for the removal of toll tax but government had made it clear the system will continue as it is i.e. GST along with toll tax. State by this attitude stands to lose more than it gains. Blame for such poor record goes to policy makers and politicians who just for few votes have surrendered all safety norms to be implemented. Under such a circumstance it is the people who stand to lose in terms of life and facilities and not the politicians. Alienated Jammu and Kashmir stands to lose the benefits of ‘cashless treatment scheme’ on the pattern introduced by the Union Government for road crash victims of the Golden Quadrilateral and North-South and East-West corridors. The scheme envisages that victims do not have to pay for the expenditure up to Rs 30,000. Government plan to raise road cess and motor vehicle insurance to garner additional funds would take care of the needed fund. In fact insurance companies have been the driving force behind providing immediate medical care to road crash victims in developed countries. On an average the State’s roads claim more lives than terrorism or the calamity especially in the districts, where number of accidents is increasing which shows that there is no progress on the directions issued by the Governor in February 2015 which include carrying out improvements in the road architecture particularly in the vulnerable districts.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper