People of Jammu who were already burdened with two toll plazas are fuming with the operationalisation of a new plaza at Lakhanpur.
People are blaming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led central government for starting the new toll on the National Highway at Lakhanpur. Interestingly the toll plaza was earlier managed by the Excise Department.
Lakhanpur in Kathua district of Jammu region is the gateway to the Union Territory of J&K. It is the first station when someone enters the UT from Punjab.
National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) that is a body under the central government has allotted the toll plaza to a company named Ranchordas that is based in Haryana.
Now all the tourists coming to Vaishno Devi, Kashmir and other places in the UT will have to pay toll at Lakhanpur, Sarore and Ban. NHAI General Manager Hemraj said that the toll plaza at Lakhanpur would have been made operational in 2012 soon after the four laning of the highway.
The commuters in Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) will have to pay Rs 85 for one side journey and Rs 130 for double journey. The toll for mini bus has been fixed at Rs 140 for one side and Rs 205 for two side journey while the same for bus/truck (two axle) will be charged at Rs 290 for single and Rs 435 for double side journey.
The tolls were also giving nightmares to the people of Jammu who said that they voted BJP to power for development in the region but were instead being burdened with toll plazas everyday. Opposition has also up the ante against the BJP and claimed that the party was only busy in benefitting the toll plaza contractors by looting the people of Jammu.