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Jammu Kashmir » Governance

Posted at: Apr 21, 2017, 1:06 AM; last updated: Apr 21, 2017, 1:43 AM (IST)

Toll hike: Now, pay 35% more on Jammu-Srinagar highway

Amit Khajuria

Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 20

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has increased the toll rates at the Ban toll plaza by 35 per cent after adding the 4.22-km stretch on the Jammu-Udhampur national highway.

The sudden raise in the toll on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway by 35 per cent has raised the eyebrows of commuters, pilgrims and tourists in the Jammu region.

The NHAI has completed a stretch of 4.22 km last month on Udhampur bypass, which was pending since long due to some legal issue of land procurement. The NHAI had to revise the rate this month on a routine basis, but they could only increase 5 to 7 per cent of the existing rate.

The increased stretch is at Udhampur. However, the pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine at Katra have to pay the same revised rate even without using the newly added stretch. The pilgrims use only 31 km of the 67-km four-lane highway but pay the same amount of toll.

The locals had protested time and again against this toll plaza as a commuter using just 10-15 km of the highway has to pay the same amount of toll like others travelling to Udhampur and Srinagar pay.

“We use to revise the rates in April every year, but this time we had to add 4.22 km of additional stretch to the route. So, the toll has been increased at a higher rate,” said MT Attarde, project manager, NHAI.

Unfair to pilgrims

The increased stretch of 4.22 km is in Udhampur. However, the pilgrims to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Katra still have to pay the same revised rate even without using the newly added stretch. The pilgrims use only 31 km of the 67-km four-lane highway but pay the same amount of toll as others. The locals have protested time and again but to no avail.

Official speak

We use to revise the rates in April every year. However, this time we had to add 4.22 km of additional stretch to the route. So, the toll has been increased at a higher rate. —MT Attarde, Project Manager, NHAI

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