KHADC to formulate plan to shut toll gates

SHILLONG, June 24: A day after suffering a setback at the hands of the state government which had ordered the Khasi Hills Autonomous Districts Council and the Jaintia Hills Autonomous Districts Council to close down all toll gates along the national highways, the KHADC is now working on an action plan on how to execute the order.
KHADC Chief Executive Member Titosstarwell Chyne on Friday said the council is preparing a working plan on how to close down all the illegal toll gates.
Chyne admitted that district councils did not have authority to set up toll gates on national highway but added that it has been practice for years. The toll gates and beat offices were installed along the national highways years ago, he said.
“We don’t want to any conflict or any confusion over this matter. We have decided in principle that we will not install any toll gate along the national highways and are preparing a working plan on how to go about it,” he said.
Asserting that the autonomous district councils are constitutional bodies with provisions in the Sixth Schedule allowing them to collect taxes, the KHADC chief said the decision to close down the toll gates would entail a revenue loss of Rs 15-20 lakh.
Asked why there were 4-5 toll gates along a short stretch of 1 or 2 km on the Shillong Bypass, Chyne said some of the check gates belong to the Forest department while others belong to the Trade department and they keep a check on movement of vehicles, especially those of non-tribals, as vehicles belonging to non-tribals cannot ply within the jurisdiction of the council without a trading license.
The state government had directed the KHADC and the JHADC to immediately shut down all toll gates set up by them along the national highways and state roads.
During the meeting on Thursday, the government had pointed out that the councils were not empowered to set up such toll gates.

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