Government has hardly ever relaxed rules or tax collection for Jammu like it often does for Kashmir. Fastag is being made mandatory for all vehicles from January 2021 but this rule is ineffective at the sole toll plaza in district Anantnag of Kashmir region.
Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, has announced that Fastag (an electronic-based highway toll collection tag) has been made necessary from January 2021 for the purpose of registration of vehicles as well as for third party insurance cover. It was also added that highway toll plazas would no longer accept cash as a mode of payment.
A senior citizen of Jammu complains that the administration has always imposed strict regulations for people of Jammu whenever there is a time for collection of taxes or various types of fees, rent etc or implement rules while these same rules get relaxed for Kashmiris. He further complains that collection of the power rent is higher in Jammu region compared to Kashmir. When the department had planned to install electronic meters, most of these meters were to be planted in Jammu comparatively very high in number than Kashmir. Similarly, Fastag is being made compulsory in Jammu but not in Kashmir region. He said that even though he has Fastag on his car but still when he used the Anantnag toll plaza, the collection agents asked him for cash.
Another Jammuite complained that why same rules are not being imposed for the Kashmir region. Earlier also the Fastag was made mandatory but toll collection authorities at Anantnag in Srinagar failed to implement. Why some rules don’t apply to the Kashmir region?
An official told Early Times that people of Jammu have always been neglected by the governments and if cash payment facility is provided to Kashmir valley people, then why isn’t same given to the Toll plazas of Jammu region. Officer also added that Jammu has been discriminated against in granting of funds for decades and Kashmir was given preference. But when it came to the collection of taxes or other types of charges, Jammuites were summoned first. The Union government as well as Lieutenant Governor administration should ensure that this discrimination should stop.