The fresh anti-people and arbitrary order passed by the government in terms of imposition of toll tax on civilian vehicles using National Highway in Kashmir is ominous. The move has genuinely caused a huge stir among all sections of the society especially the taxi owners and trade bodies of the valley.
The toll is being collected by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) at the toll Post at Chursoo, Sangam in Anantnag district. This is despite the facts that the common people who are already suffering from prolonged conflict and shattered economy have been now over burdened by this authoritarian order. Government’s clarification about the exemption of the tax from the people living within 20 kilometers radius is also futile and the public in general from Jammu and Kashmir should be excluded from the purview of Toll tax imposition.
Laws, regulations in a welfare state must be oriented around social welfare, more so, when the state is tormented in all forms due to prolonged conflict that has eaten into vitals of this society. Most of the people in Kashmir belong to downtrodden environs and are shocked on hearing about levying of heavy toll duty on a routine basis. The toll tax should have been collected from outsiders, heavy vehicles, tourist vehicles and not from local Kashmiris as this will also increase the fare which will add to the miseries of people particularly poor strata of the society. Such a move shall have a disastrous impact on trade and commerce and shall be revoked immediately.