In a representation made to the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court on April 24, Anti-Terrorist Front of India (ATFI) president Viresh Shandilya pleaded that the collection of toll tax on the national highway number 1 between Amritsar and Delhi be stayed till the work of making the highway six lane was completed.
He prayed that the letter be treated as a public interest litigation (PIL).
Shandilya said that due to the numerous road blocks owing to the ongoing project it was not a smooth driving expereince for motorists, adding that people were virtually driving on a slip road till Delhi.
He argued that it made no sense to collect toll tax when no highway facilitiy was available to the public.
Shandilya said that while going from Delhi to Amritsar one had to pay toll tax at Panipat, Tarawari, Shambhu and Ludhiana; similarly, on the way to Chandigarh an additional barrier was put up at Dappar.
He said that toll tax was collected in lieu of fast and hindrance-free highways and should not be collected when that facility was not being extended.
ATFI president said the work on the Ambala stretch, started six years ago, had not been completed and thousands of commuters going from Cantonment to the city or vice-versa were forced to follow a circuitous route. Also, 'U' turns were provided at an interval of several kilometres, adding that they were dangerous due to heavy traffic.
Calling the matter important and of immense public interest, he said notices be served to the National Highway Authority of India and the surface transport ministry.