Why we all should support MNS movement against toll

Pankaj Bhatia

Why the hell should we pay toll tax when we are already paying more than 20 types of taxes to the government including road tax which should be utilised for building and maintenance of good roads? Why should we pay an additional tax to get good roads in cities & highways? This is the fundamental reason why we all should whole heartedly support MNS movement against this dreaded toll tax.

An average Mumbaikar (including people living in Navi Mumbai & Thane) pays around INR 2000 or more per month as toll tax to commute within the city for work and this is in addition to what he has already paid as road tax at the time of purchase of vehicle. As we all know that at the time of purchase of any new vehicle we pay around 8 types of taxes to central & state government; 5 types of taxes to central government and 3 types of taxes to state government. Apart from this we also pay many taxes to the local municipal corporations.

As a basic economic fundamental taxes collected by the government are used for running the government, building nation (infrastructure & other development activities), to fund various social welfare schemes run by the government for the poor or downtrodden. But providing good roads to all citizens including the poor is the basic fundamental duty of any government and funds for the same should be allocated as first priority. Then why the hell government can’t pay to all these infrastructure companies who build roads and ask them to charge us, the road users, in the name of BOOT (Build, Own, Operate & Transfer).

Actually this whole concept of BOOT for building good roads is mooted by our smart politicians in connivance with big corporate houses for their own benefit. Many of these infrastructure companies engaged in large highway and road projects are indirectly promoted or owned by politicians or their relatives and toll is another lawful way of looting the pocket of the common man.

Another argument given by many in favour of toll is that it is a way to tax rich (owning and running a four wheeler) and collect money for good roads as the poor cannot pay. That’s the reason why no toll is charged from two wheelers and auto rickshaws. This concept is totally flawed as you can’t call a person driving a Nano or a Maruti 800 rich. A youngster driving a costly bike may be richer. Moreover how come you can charge the same toll from a Maruti 800 owner and a Mercedes/Audi/BMW owner! Another very valid point is that why the government vehicles belonging to ministers, bureaucrats and politicians as so called public servants are exempted from toll. Are they not rich or don’t they get salary for their job and hence should not contribute to the development of nation? If the same rule applies on all other taxes as well, all these people should also not pay income tax, sales tax or any other tax for that matter to the government.

Although I do not support the way of protest as chosen by MNS, but fundamentally we all should support the cause in our own way. And remember it is not a matter of Maharashtra only, this movement should spread to all over country and we should ask all the above questions to the respective government

One comment

  1. Manjunatha /

    Fully agree with you sir,
    even though we are not very particular on fighting against the growth of india , same should be made in a legal way, as for as Bangalore devanahalli toll is concerned road itself was not completed but toll was collected in the protection of police , amount raised from Rs, 30 to Rs,150/- in one shot and govt is very silent.
    if a common person sells items worth Rs,20/- Per Kg in the market for Rs,100/- by threatening /Forcing /showing weapon to public will govt/law will allow ?? then without providing service roads how and why govt allowing Toll plaza’s to collect the amount as per their wims and fancy . providing good roads to public is a primary responcibilty of any government without insisting extra money. The Major problem is many public is also not very interested in any sough of protest/fight , they will spend more time by arguing/bargaining with flower sellers/ fruit sellers/ vegetables sellrs for hours for the sake of Rs, 2 ,5,or 10 but while paying such unwanted amount they will not spend two minutes to think why such amount to be paid nor support the people/leaders who fight on behalf public .

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