Chairman of the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, Tashi Gyalson on Thursday criticised the move of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to impose toll tax on the roads and tunnels built by the BRO in the cold desert frontier region of Ladakh.
In a statement, Gyalson described the move of the BRO to generate revenue by levying toll tax as “unwarranted and uncalled for” as the roads connecting and within Ladakh are the lifeline of the people and these roads are constructed with an aim to strengthen the border region and to provide just and reasonable support to the local population.
Most of these roads don’t come under national highways and are being constructed with local resources. Moreover, the existing national highways are not at par with the standards of other national highways in terms of infrastructure.
Also, the existing national highways are significant for locals and also have local resources involved. Therefore we have a strong reservation on this issue and expect the Administration of UT Ladakh, especially the Secretary, Transport Department, to categorically raise an objection and also communicate the reservation. The LAHDC, Kargil, has also criticized the move.
In a letter to Secretary Transport Saugat Biswas, the BRO has identified the five roads on which toll plazas are proposed to be established. These roads are; Zojila-Kargil, Nimmu-Padam-Darcha, Khaltse-Batalik and Leh-Chalunka.