Highway Toll Tax Barriers Irks Commuters, Causes Traffic Jam

Manali: People  protested against authorities for imposing toll tax near Dohlunala on Kullu- Manali National highway

People told Hill Post that the toll plaza was made operational from this month and every vehicle passing through it was charged toll of  Rupees 30 for every light motor vehicle.

“This is outrageous, how can government impose such a harsh order against people of Kullu –manali asking us to pay Rupees 45 per day from moving to and fro on the highway,”  said a person, showing a receipt of Rs 45 collected as toll by National Highways Authority Of India.

Toll barrier

Chandermani another resident of Manali said that he was shocked when asked to pay Rs 30 before being allowed to move on the thoroughfare.

“We don’t earn as much as what is being charged. Having already banned civilian traffic on highway by virtue of order , it seems that the authorities by imposing such harsh tax, the government has decided to completely shut the highway for the civilians.”

As the toll was started to be collected recently most of the people protested against it and refused to pay, leading to the traffic jam on the highway around the toll plaza, reports and eyewitness told the Hill Post.

Congress Party’s former chairman of zila parshid kullu, Harichand Sharma  appealed Government to abandon their plan to install a toll plaza in view of growing resentment among locals, traders, and transporters.
Hari Chand Sharma, said that  the people when they are up in arms against the construction of the toll plaza as it would put over burden on the poor people, traders, transporters and tourists coming to Kullu Manali from outside the States.

“If the genuine demands of the people are not listened by the Government then people will be compelled to come on the roads,” he threatened citing resentment among the people. He said that the people are angry because they will suffer financially whenever they have to travel by highway to their respective destinations.

“Government works for the welfare of the people, but Govt has launched a crashing policy to do work without listening to the concerns of the people. This work is against the will of the people and people are not ready to accept the forced toll plaza,” he warned.
He said that instead of contributing towards the development of Kullu-Manali which faced discrimination from decades, the BJP Government has started suppressing people, who voted them to power in Centre. “Is it possible for a regime to negligent the concerns of the people even if those civilians have voted and supported the BJP to form their present government?, questioned Harichand. He extended all support to the people.

When District Magistrate Dr. Richa Verma was contacted she said that a committee has been constituted to hear the toll from local people and transporters at the toll plaza of the National Highway Authority of India set up at Dohlunala on the Kullu-Manali National Highway.  District Magistrate Dr. Richa Verma said that the committee constituted under the chairmanship of SDM Kullu has included Regional Transport Officer Kullu and Executive Engineer of Public Works Department Mandal Katarain as a member.

Dr. Richa Verma said that the committee will submit its report within seven days after extensive discussion with the officials of bus operators union of Kullu, Manali and Bhuntar, truck, jeep, auto and taxi unions besides locals.  The District Magistrate has appealed to the officials and general public of all transport unions to present their case in the SDM office Kullu till 6 December.

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