STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Sharing the popular concern of the people of Jammu province in the wake of imposition of Jaziya type toll tax, IkkJutt Jammu warned the authorities to withdraw it forthwith or get ready to face an agitation. Briefing media persons here on Thursday, Ankur Sharma, Chairman IkkJutt Jammu flanked by Avinash Choudhary, Chairman Border Welfare Organisation; Balbir Singh, Chairman 2X2 Bus Union Jammu Province; K.D Singh, President 2X2 Bus Union (Kathua-Udhampur Katra); Mohinder Singh President Jammu-Poonch 2×2 Bus Union; Rakesh Choudhary President Businessmen Association Sainik Colony; Kuldip Singh (Jammu-Kathua 2×3 Bus Union); Suram Singh, Secretary Mini Bus Union Bari Brahmana-Vijaypur; Raghubir Singh, Mini Bus Union Raya Suchani; Vijay Sharma, General Secretary All J&K Bus Welfare Association said that the imposition of toll tax in Jammu is a wilful move on the part of the authorities to wreck Jammu’s economy by discouraging pilgrims to the holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi. Ankur further said that the manner in which the NHAI has flouted its own rules to impose anti-Hindu toll tax is glaringly evident. It should be known that the distance between the two toll plazas and from the municipal limits concerned is a clear indication that the intentions of the authorities are not novel. How could the NHAI set up and propose to set up four toll plazas within a distance of less than 80 K.Ms on the same NH 44? Ankur Sharma said that the distance between two poll plazas- Sarore and Ban Toll Plazas is not even 50 kilometers and the distance between the Municipal limits of Bari Brahmana and Sarore is not even two kilometers. This is a clear violation of the laid down rules of NHAI as the distance between two toll plazas according to Section 8 of the National Highway Fee (determination of rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 cannot be less than 60 K.M and the distance from the Municipal or local town area limits cannot be less than 10 Km. Ankur said that the people of Jammu province have already been contributing to the state exchequer over 75 per cent revenue and the imposition of additional saffron Jiziya in the form of heavy toll tax will further add to the woes of the already suffering people of Jammu. Ankur alleged that NHAI in its press conference dated October 15, 2019 had brought to the notice of the public that it is not the NHAI but Government of India which has taken a decision to install Toll Plaza at Thandi Khui. “Government of India needs to explain that when there is no UT where there is a functional Toll Plaza, why Jammu Kashmir has been singled out in the given case,” he added.
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