Srinagar, July 6 : Advisor to Lieutenant Governor Baseer Ahmad Khan on Monday said that no toll shall be paid by locals “living within 20 kilomteres” of toll a plaza installed by NHAI at Kachkoot village near Sangam in southern Kashmir.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had started, from last few days, collecting toll tax even from the locals living within the 20 kilomters. The local private vehicle owners were made to pay Rs 280 per month and passes were accordingly issued to them.

“They (NHAI authorities) will not take any toll from people living within 20 kilometers radius,” the advisor Baseer Khan told GNS. The statement followed Khan’s meeting with the authorities of NHAI here.

In May last year, the then governor of the erstwhile state Satya Pal Malik had announced that locals irrespective of those living within 20 kilometers radius will be exempted from paying toll tax on the Highway connecting Kashmir Valley with rest of the world.

“We are taking up this issue with the Centre. There will be no toll tax for locals. Because of elections many people are not available (in central government then). Locals won’t have to pay toll,” Malik had told reporters on the sidelines function in Srinagar.

As per an order of the NHAI then, every private vehicle passing through the toll plaza will be charged Rs 85 for single journey and Rs 130 for return journey. For minibus to heavy commercial vehicles and oversized vehicle, the charges for single journey ranged from Rs 135 to Rs 540. (GNS)