STATE TIMES NEWSBILLAWAR: While reacting to J&K BJP Spokespersons statement that toll plazas are necessary for development Former Minister and President DCC Kathua Dr Manohar lal Sharma lambasted BJP leadership for playing with the sentiments of people and termed BJP as a divided house. Manohar said when the BJP was in the Opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, it had objected to the then state government’s move to set up a toll plaza at Lakhanpur and compared it to the collection of “Jazia” from Vaishno Devi pilgrims on the way to Katra and BJP workers led by party leader Chander Parkash Ganga had in May 2014 dismantled the structure of a toll plaza coming up at Sarore in Samba district but now n a U-turn from its earlier stand, the BJP spokesperson now said the setting up of toll plazas on the Kathua-Jammu-Srinagar national highways is necessary for development. Manohar asked BJP to come clean on toll plaza issue as different statements has been issued by BJP leaders in J&K from time to time which contradicts its stand and said BJP is habitual in playing and exploiting sentiments of the masses. While referring to different statements DR Sharma said State BJP president says that he will uproot the toll plazas with JCB & Crane and also quoted that establishment of toll plazas in UT is against the norms. Afterwards Union Minister In PMO issued a statement that relaxation will be given to locals residing within 20 kms of Lakhanpur toll plaza whereas BJP spokesperson has now said toll plazas are necessary. Dr Sharma said that three different statements from three Leaders of BJP has created the condition of chaos among mases and further asked people to understand the nefarious designs of BJP. Dr Sharma said that Jammu had witnessed a series of protests under the banner of “Toll Satyagraha”, with locals hitting the streets to demand the abolition of Sarore toll plaza in Samba district. Further he said that the Sarore toll plaza violated the prescribed distance limit set by NHAI. As per section 8 of the National Highways Authority Fee (Determination of rates and collection) Rules 2008, no two plazas can be established within a distance of 60 km on the same section of the National Highway. But the NHAI has flouted its own rules by constructing the Sarore toll plaza just 37.04 km away from the existing Ban toll plaza on the Jammu-Udhampur national highway and asked what the BJP leaders and 2 MP’s from Jammu are doing.
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