‘NHAI has no role in toll tax exemption’

Srinagar, May 9: As the demand of waiving off toll tax on Jammu-Srinagar highway at Kachkoot toll plaza is growing shriller, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) said that it has no role in taking any decision with regard to exemption of the tax.
The NHAI said that the state government can take up the matter with the ministry of Surface Transport of Government of India which can take a decision about waiving of the toll.
“Waiving off or imposing tax on highways is not a matter of NHAI. NHAI will have to work as per the guidelines. It is a policy matter of Government of India,” Hemraj, NHAI Regional Officer, J&K, said.
He said that if politicians or the state government do not want toll tax at the Kachkoot Toll plaza, they can take up the matter with GoI.
“We should get directions from GoI (about levying off toll tax). We don’t take such decisions,” he said.
Kachkoot toll tax has been started on Srinagar-Jammu highway near Sangam in Anantnag district from May 1, but transporters and political parties are opposing the levy of tax.
It is the third project of NHAI on which toll tax is being collected. Chenani-Nashri and Jammu-Udhampur are the other two tax collection centres of NHAI.
However, as per the guidelines of GoI the tax is waived off for private car owners residing within the 20 km radius of the Toll Plaza.
“It is an inbuilt clause in the gazetted notification of GoI that villages or localities living within 20 KM radius of the Toll Collection centre have to be issued a monthly pass on minimum tax,” Hemraj said.
He said that the public transporters cannot be exempted from the toll, but they can avail the monthly tax passes at the collection centre to avoid daily payment of toll. (KNS)