RAHA, March 1 - Brushing aside protests by different organisations including the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), the National Highway Authorities of India (NHAI) on Sunday reopened the Raha toll gate located at Saragaon area in Raha town on the four-lane highway after a small religious function at 8 am. Thirteen members of the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) were arrested for staging a sit-in protest at the plaza today.
The toll gate which had remained closed since 2015 because of protests from various organisations, mainly the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) was reopened in July, 2018 for a week.
Speaking to this correspondent at the Raha toll plaza, Alok Kumar, regional officer (RO), North-East Zone, NHAI, said that a private company namely MB Consortium based in Guwahati has been given the contract of toll collection of Raha toll plaza to the tune of Rs 12.79 lakh per day.
Kumar further said that after three months, cashless payment mechanism (FASTag) will be launched at the toll gate for collection of fee.
According to a NHAI notification, the four wheeler private vehicles will have to pay Rs 95 for one way and Rs 140 for both ways while the commercial vehicles will be charged Rs 150 for one way and Rs 225 for both ways.
Similarly, bus and trucks will have to pay Rs 315 and 470 one way and both ways respectively at the toll plaza. The heavy construction machinery and multi axle vehicles will have to pay Rs 490 for one way and Rs 735 for both ways. Oversized vehicles have to pay Rs 600 and 895 in one way and both ways accordingly. There will be no toll fee for two and three wheeler vehicles. The private vehicles under Raha circle area bearing AS 02 registration are also exempted from toll presently.
The district administration of Nagaon deployed a large number of security personnel since Saturday night at the toll plaza as several organisations threatened to launch protests opposing the NHAI�s decision to reopen it on Sunday.
The Raha and Nagaon unit of AJYCP reiterated its opposition to government�s decision to reopen the Roha toll plaza, saying the construction of the highway is still incomplete. The Raha police arrested 13 activists of AJYCP including the district unit secretary Pragjyotish Bania, president Deepmoni Bora who staged a sit-in protest at Raha chariali on the middle of the four-lane highway in the afternoon on Sunday opposing the reopening.
ADCs Jayanta Bora, Lachit Das, Additional SP, Nagaon, Mohanlal Meena, SR Bhattacharjee, PD, of NHAI, Nabin Kumar, an official of NHAI, Nagaon division and the Raha Circle Officer Priyangka Bania were present representing the district administration and the NHAI in the opening ceremony. Haren Mahanta from MB Consortium was also present on the occasion.