The state government on Thursday directed the two autonomous district councils (ADCs) to immediately shut down all toll gates set up by them along the national highways and state roads.
This was informed by the District Council Affairs (DCA) Minister Lahkmen Rymbui after a meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma with the representatives of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) and Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council (JHADC) in presence of Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.
Rymbui told reporters that the state government has not questioned the authority of the ADCs to collect tax under their respective jurisdictions but has pointed out that they are not empowered to set up such toll gates.
“Therefore, we have asked to close down all toll gates immediately and the JHADC and KHADC have agreed to do that,” he said.
Further, the DCA minister has informed that the ADCs were also asked to come up with proposals for checking and in what form so that the same can be examined by the state government.
He however said that records are not available as to when the ADCs have started operating the toll gates.
“Our point of contention is that the ADCs are not empowered by the law for any collection along the national highways and state highways,” he added.
Rymbui said that the constraints faced by the ADCs were also discussed during the meeting and the government has assured to extend all possible help within the parameters of the law.