Ban Toll Plaza has come under public scrutiny for having adopted a lop-sided and discriminatory policy for issuing passes.
The plaza has remained in the eye of storm since day 1. It has been reported by the number of commuters who use to travel ‘to and fro’ between Jammu and Katra on daily basis for performing their services that the toll plaza authorities are issuing passes to the people belonging to certain areas of Jammu while leaving others as ineligible for monthly Pass.
They said that the toll plaza authorities have prepared a list of certain areas which according to them can avail the benefit of discounted monthly passes while those areas which have not been added by them cannot avail the benefit. The areas of the Jammu city which has been added in the list included Bahu Fort, Gujjar Nagar, Kacchi Chowni, Purani mandi, New Plot, Dogra Hall, Bakshi Nagar, Shakti Nagar, Rehari Colony, Subash Nagar, Toph Sherkhania, Pamposh Colony, Janipur, Janipur Colony, Durga Nagar, Paloura, Chinore and Keran.
Not only the Jammu city 35 localities of Nagrota and 20 of Dansal have also been kept black listed by the Toll authorities thus depriving them of availing the monthly pass benefit. Though the sources close to the Toll Plaza authorities disclosed that the list has been prepared on the a set criteria that the areas within 20 kilometers of Ban toll plaza can avail the benefit of monthly passes and those which are beyond 20 kilometers has been kept out of the list.
Sources maintained that though there is also a notification regarding the said criteria by National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), but the authorities for their petty gains have even demarcated Jammu city which lies within the stipulated distance in several zones for charging daily tax from the commuters who even use to visit between Jammu-Katra on daily basis.
Relevant to mention here that the one sided tax for a vehicle is Rs 85 while return within 24 hours is Rs 130 and in comparison to this the monthly pass for 31 days i.e. from 1st to 31st of every month is at Rs 235 only i.e. Rs 7.40 (approximately) per day. It is very much clear from the figures that why this lewd practice is being practiced by the toll plaza authorities.
A government doctor wishing anonymity told Newspoint bureau that “I use to travel between Jammu and Katra daily as am being posted there and when I asked the toll plaza authorities for issuing me a monthly pass even after showing my government issued identity card, they refused for the same on the pretext that Tallab Tillo area is ineligible for availing the benefit of pass”.
He further said that one of my colleagues who is from Shakti Nagar which is at the distance of hardly 150 meters from Talab Tillo has got the monthly pass as Shakti Nagar is in their list. “Now I am paying Rs 130 daily or Rs 4,030 per month while my colleague who lives 150 meter away from Talab Tillo is paying on Rs 235 per month which is unjustified and open loot.”
Another government employee said that this is totally irrational that even a small city Jammu has been divided into several zones by the toll plaza authorities’ just fo9r their petty gains as more than half of the areas have been kept out of the list and this practice should be immediately stopped.
“There is a huge difference between Rs 4,030 per month and Rs 235 per month. Every person hailing from Jammu visiting Katra should get benefit the monthly pass on proper verification of its address proof but there should be no demarcation on the basis of areas.