Jammu:Provincial President National Conference Devender Singh Rana and former minister Surjeet Singh Slathia today strongly pitched for rolling back the decision on toll collection at Sarore Toll Plaza.
“National Conference had opposed tooth and nail the decision of putting in place a Toll Plaza at the initial stage but the Government of the time looked to the other side thus creating a situation which is against the interests of commuters, trade and commerce”, Rana and Slathia said in a joint statement issued from Sher-e-Kashmir Bhavan here, adding that such measures are against the interests of the pilgrim cum tourism rich region.
They highlighted the importance of Jammu as a most thronged pilgrim destination of North India, saying nearly 10 million pilgrims visit every year to pay obeisance at revered Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine. How can this aspect be ignored, they added.
The National Conference leaders described levying on toll taxes unjust and unfair even before the completion of the highway. The agency should have also taken into consideration of the stakeholders who have been vehemently opposing the move, which is not only illogical but also unjust.
The statement recalled the similar scenario emerging in the wake of toll collection at Ban Toll Plaza, stating that the sustained agitation by the National Conference had resulted in waiver for the locals of Nagrota constituency.
“The administration should avoid confrontational approach, see reason in the overwhelming demand of the people of all shades and roll back the decision on toll collection at Sarore Toll Plaza”, the statement pleaded and urged the Government to take call on the issue on immediate basis.
They slammed National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for failing to put in place the road safety and medical emergency measures on Jammu-Udhampur Highway leading to frequent accidents.
The statement called for focussed attention on the improvement and upgradation of roads, especially the highway instead of punishing the road users by way of taxes.