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Clamour against toll tax at Adityapur

Jamshedpur-based NGO Jan Kalyan Morcha on Thursday sent a petition to the state industries department demanding an exemption of toll tax for two and three-wheelers.

The morcha, which convened a meeting of its members on Thursday, believed that a hike in toll taxes by Adityapur Toll Bridge Company Limited (ATBCL), which was in the offing, would put additional pressure on the smaller vehicles. Hence, they decided to knock on the doors of the state industry department .

In its petition submitted, the NGO members said the industry department had on April 15, 2011, told Jharkhand High Court that it would not levy taxes from toll bridges which did not have dedicated lanes for two and three-wheelers.

“So ATBCL should not in the first case be collecting toll from the smaller vehicles at all at the Rs 76 crore Adityapur Bridge because it does not have a dedicated service lane for two or three-wheelers,” the petition mentioned.

"The state industries department has contributed Rs 21 crore of public money to set up the toll bridge. It is unethical that it now charges the public for using it,” morcha president Om Prakash said.

He added that they would launch an agitation if their demand was no met.

Meanwhile, managing director of ATBCL, Sudhansu Kumar said the state had approved its proposal of a hike in the toll taxes. “We gather that the industry department has already approved our proposal for a hike in the toll tax, but the new rates are yet to reach us,” he said.