NAGAON, July 24: The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) finally declared its stand in connection to the Raha Toll Plaza and stated that the toll plaza was not illegal as alleged by various organizations, including KMSS and AJYCP. Hence the toll plaza will continue in Raha.
In response to the memorandum submitted by KMSS and other organizations to the Nagaon district administration, NHAI in a report stated that as per the Ministry of Road and Transport and Highways ( Department of Road Transport and Highways ), New Delhi, Gazatte notification, GSR 838 ( E) dated December, 2008 in exercise of the powers conferred by section 9 of the National Highways Act 1956 (48 of 1956 ) and the National Highways (Rate of Fees) Rules 1997, it is clearly stated that if a section of national highway, permanent bridge, bypass or tunnel is constructed within the municipal or town area limits or within five kilometres from such limits, primarily for use of the residents, toll plaza may be established within the municipal or town area limits or within a distance of 5 km from such limits. Hence, the toll plaza located at Raha is not at all illegal as mentioned in the memorandum by the organizations, the NHAI stated in the report to the Nagaon Deputy Commissioner.
On the other hand, organizations like AJYCP immediately reacted to the stand of NHAI and alleged that the authority of NHAI wrongly explained the rules and demanded a tripartite talk for settlement of the issue and till then the toll plaza should be kept closed. The authority earlier said that the toll plaza was suspended for 24 hours and during this period the authority would take the final decision and simultaneously would intimate details to the organizations that took part in agitation against the toll plaza at Raha.
In a press release issued by the United Forum of All Jatiya and Ethnic Organizations of Assam against the Raha Toll Gate, it was demanded that until the issue was settled through tripartite meet, the toll gate at Raha must be closed or the organizations would launch a massive public protest.
The Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon on Tuesday morning invited the leaders of the organizations for a discussion on the toll plaza in the office of the Deputy Commissioner. But the leaders of the organizations postponed it due to insufficient time to reach the office on time as many leaders had to come from distant places.