Toll tax ‘likely’ on Rohini Road
The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration on Saturday said it was “likely” to restart collecting toll tax on Rohini Road, the most popular route to Darjeeling from Siliguri.
Anit Thapa, the chairman of the GTA’s board of administrators, said: “To make the road an example and for its proper maintenance, the GTA is likely to start collecting toll tax. We will, however, first take feedback from the general public.”
Soon after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leader Binay Tamang was nominated as the chairman of the GTA board in September 2017, he had waived the toll tax on Rohini Road, now renamed Subash Ghisingh Marg.
Rohini Road was the only route to the hills where toll was levied. It connects Dudhia Road with NH55 in Kurseong. The toll ranged from Rs 5 to Rs 40, depending on the vehicle.
Thapa said on Saturday that the GTA was widening Rohini Road and also laying parapet on the roadside as part of measures to ensure smooth traffic flow and safety.
Many Darjeeling hill residents, however, complained that the condition of Rohini Road had deteriorated after the toll tax collection was stopped on January 1, 2018. The tax had been collected for five years before that.
Apart from the toll tax, Tamang had also waived entrance fees at all tourist spots in the hills.
Soon after Thapa took charge earlier this year, the GTA headquarters Lal Khoti began charging an entry fee of Rs 30 from tourists.
“The new chairman of the board of administrators of the GTA seems to be reviewing some of the earlier policy decisions,” a source said.