Majid Kapra

Locals to be exempted from paying toll tax at Sangam: Guv

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Srinagar, May 09: Facing widespread resentment over the imposition of toll tax at Sangam in south Kashmir, Governor Satya Pal Malik on Thursday assured that locals would be exempted from paying the tax.

“There won’t be any toll tax on the locals. We have taken up the issue with the central government but due to the ongoing election process things have slowed up a bit,” Governor said while inaugurating the grade separator at TRC crossing here today.

“No tax will be paid by locals. We will take up this issue with centre; since election is ongoing in the country, the concerned Minister Nitin Gadkare-ji is busy with the process, once he is free we will discuss the issue with him,” said Malik.

Reiterating his assertions, the Governor said “there would be totally no tax on locals, I assure you.”

Since the toll plaza has been made operational by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) in Sangam area of south Kashmir, the traders, commuters and other business communities have refused to pay the tax.

A group of traders and transporters also submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag demanding rollback of the toll tax being levied on the vehicles.

Regional parties, National Conference (NC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have also demanded the rollback of the tax. NC has called the move “unfair and unjust” while the PDP said such a measure would hit the already economically downtrodden people hard.

Pertinently, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan had earlier said that government has decided that people living within 20 km on both sides of newly-established toll plaza on Srinagar-Jammu highway at Chursoo in Sangam, will not have to pay the travel fee. He had said that they will be issued travel passes for free movement.

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