Srinagar, Feb 7: Shopkeepers at Toolpost Lower Munda Friday staged a protest against the government’s move to close Toolpost at Lower Munda and demanded rehabilitation.
Worth to mention as a follow up to the budget announcement, the government has notified that Toll Posts established in Kashmir division at Lower Munda in District Anantnag and Borehallan Heerpur in District Shopian have been abolished February 06, 2018.
Protesters said that their livelihood depends on this Tool post and now they see their future ruined.
“This toll post was our lifeline and now due to its closure, we can’t think of living a good life,” Said Bashir Ahmad a shopkeeper. “If government cannot provide jobs, then we should be rehabilitated at any cost” said another shopkeeper.
Protesters also displayed placards reading, “Closing Toolpost at Lower Munda is equivalent to earmarking land for graveyard for own families”.
About 200 shopkeepers and 300 vendors who were running trade outlets at Lower Munda Toll Post were earning their livelihood and have been deprived of the right to earn their livelihood by closing down the Toll Post at Lower Munda.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (4) of the Jammu & Kashmir Levy of Tolls Act Samvat 1995 (Act No: VIII of 1995), the Government of Jammu and Kashmir hereby directs that the Toll Posts established at Lower Munda in district Anantnag and Borehallan Heerpur in district Shopian under the provisions of the said Act, shall cease to operate from of February 6th, 2018,” said SRO issued Principal Secretary Finance, Navin Kumar Choudhary.
MLA Dooru and former Minister Syed Farooq Andrabi yesterday also staged protest in Legislative assembly and demanded rehabilitation for the said shopkeepers.
The Toll Post, Lower Munda was established in the year 1989 and was inaugurated by then Chief Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah. The Toll Post is situated about 10 Kms from Jawahar Tunnel on the Kashmir side and is known as the gateway to the valley of Kashmir.
The Toll Post was charged with the responsibility of collecting basic Toll from the vehicles (Heavy Vehicles as well as Light Vehicles) coming from Jammu in the import side and from the vehicles going outside the valley upto Jammu and beyond Lakhanpur in the export side.
The responsibility increased manifold after the closure of Toll Post, Banihal in July 2003. The vehicles which used to pay Toll at Banihal in the Import Side were now charged Toll at this Toll Post. The revenue also shown a continuous increase since its establishment. The revenue at the time of its establishment was Rs. 0.87 Crores which has gradually over the time increased upto to about Rs. 22.48 Crores ending March 2016. 23.92 Cr. revenue was collected for the year 2016-2017. (PTK)