The Bold Voice of J&K

TOLL PLAZAS OR COLLECTION POINTS

67

Few months back, the Union Minister for Roads and National Highways, Nitin Gadkari has declared in the Parliament that there would be no toll plaza, within a distance of minimum 60 KMs and all those found operating against this rule would be closed within a period of 3 months. This assertion of the Union Minister brought a hope for the people of Jammu region especially those who travel quite often as they have to pay necessary toll at two toll plazas located at village Ban near Nagrota and Sarore near Bari Brahmana.
As the distance between these two tolls is quite less than 60 KMs, it was expected that as per the declaration of the minister, one among these two would be closed thereby bringing a respite to the locals. But one really finds it hard to understand that what to talk of three months, even after a considerable passage of time, both the toll plazas are still functioning normally and charging heavy tolls from the commuters. People were expecting closure of a plaza but a few months back, the toll was raised significantly at both the charging points thereby putting extra burden on people already suffering due to sky-rocketing prices of basic amenities and high inflation rate. Further, to pay toll doesn’t pinch commuters if they are provided with good quality roads thereby safeguarding their lives besides ensuring good mileage of vehicles as the fuel prices are already too high. But the matter of fact is that despite paying toll charges as per demand, the commuters don’t get good quality roads as one can easily find a number of potholes and damaged stretches on the stretch between Sarore and Lakhanpur. There are also toll plazas in the neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana but the condition of Highways there is really best thereby giving a jerk-free journey experience to the people.
If the administration of Jammu and Kashmir is unable to close these revenue collection points, then necessary measures should be taken to ensure that the money collected from the people are used in repairing the damages of road without any delay so that one can have a happy and safe journey on a road stretch covered under toll plaza.

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