NAGAON, July 27: DIPRO, Nagaon in an urgent Whatsapp message, stated that the decision of re-opening the Raha toll gate had been suspended till publication of NRC final draft. Hence, the toll gate will remain closed until further notification or order by the authority concerned. Earlier, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon on Friday afternoon, in a press conference held at the DC conference hall, finally declared that the Raha Toll Plaza would start on Saturday morning as the toll plaza had been set up as per law at Raha Ranthali gram panchayat.
Interestingly, various regional and ethnic organizations of the State like KMSS, Asom Jatiatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad and others staged protest against the toll gate on July 22 and alleged that the toll plaza had been illegally installed in Raha Municipality area by violating the norms and guidelines of national highway, and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon.
In the press conference, the Project Director and General Manager of NHAI, Alok Kumar said that the allegation brought by the organizations was meaningless as the toll plaza had been installed legally inside the Rantholi Gram Panchayat area and not inside the Raha municipality area. “The NHAI, in connection with the installation of the toll plaza or gate, has completely maintained the exact norms and guidelines of the national highway. Hence the toll plaza will start on Saturday morning,” said Alok Kumar.
He, however, stated that the rate of toll fees finalized or imposed on a vehicle was also up to mark and not high in comparison to other toll plazas. He stated that the distance between Uriagoan bypass road to Jagiroad was 75 km and rate imposed was Rs 10 per km and considering that, Rs 100 for a single vehicle was automatically charged.
Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon, Biswajit Pegu added that the district administration as well as the police administration was automatically bound to provide protection and security to the toll gate as well as the employees of the toll gate. “We are ready to provide protection and security to the employees as well as the toll gate and due to suspension of the toll gate for a couple of days after massive protest by various organizations, the NHAI has been losing more than Rs 10 lakh per day,” the DC said. “Hence the toll plaza will definitely re-start on Saturday morning,” he added.
After the press conference, DIPRO, Nagaon stated in a message that the toll gate would remain closed until further notification or order by the authority concerned. On the other hand, the proposed talk in the DC conference hall between the DC and the representatives of various organizations was again postponed on Friday. According to sources, the proposed talk was postponed because the representatives of the various organizations demanded the presence of a direct representative of the Assam Government in the proposed talk. In connection with the talk, the organizations had submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Nagaon.