Nongstoin, November 17:
The Meghalaya Commercial Truck Owners & Drivers Association (MCTO&DA) on November 17 urged West Khasi Hills deputy commissioner Garod L S N Dykes to intervene against the illegal toll and check gates set up along the national highways and state roads.
After the meeting with the DC, MCTO&DA president Mosklandar Marngar said that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) has issued guidelines prohibiting the setting up of toll gates along national highways. He further noted that the District Administration has been informed about the need to remove these check gates and barriers, as they obstruct the seamless flow of traffic and high demand of taxes causing inconvenience to the farmers or small traders.
Marngar pointed out that these toll gates are erected under the jurisdiction of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and the Himas. Marngar expressed concern that taxes are even being demanded from vehicles carrying sand and stone for personal house construction and those transporting vegetables, wood, and other materials within the Khasi Hills region.
He added that the former Executive Committee of the KHADC had previously acknowledged the illegality of these toll gates. Even the current KHADC CEM has not denied their illegality and had promised to streamline the working plan. However, no action has been taken to date.
In light of the inaction, Marngar urged the state government to take immediate steps to remove these illegal toll gates. He warned that the Association would be forced to take matters into its own hands if action is not taken. However, he clarified that the government would be held responsible for any untoward incidents that may arise.