Come December 1 toll collection at plazas across the country are going electronic. Politicians and their workers who earlier intimidated toll workers and got away without paying toll, will now have a hard time with the new system in place.
A politician in UP is not taking things lying down and has threatened to go on a hunger strike if the implementation is not rolled back. “Not paying toll is our basic right and the this move by the Govt is draconian. In my 10 years career as a politician, I have not paid toll even once. No once has my entourage been stopped anywhere in UP,” he proudly claimed.
Other politicians too joined in and said that beating up toll workers and not paying toll tax were perks of being in politics. “I took up politics as a career not because I wasn’t good in my studies and dropped out of high school. But it was because the perks like driving your car through the toll plaza while others are in the payment queue, gets you a lot of respect. Even without any MP or MLA sticker on the car, just the words ‘Humare Tau Vidhayak hain’ did the work,” said one politician from the ruling party.
Many, cutting across political lines, are not planning to protest against the new payment system. Around 100 workers from different parties are planning to take out a morcha on Dec 1 outside the Chief MInisters office. They have also threatened an indefinite hunger strike if there no immediate roll back.
Sources say that CM Yogi Adityanath is trying his best to mitigate the situation. A meeting between Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and the UP Chief Minister is expected to take place next week.
“The issue of roll back will definitely be discussed. Also dedicated ‘beating areas’ at toll plazas for politicians to trash toll workers will also be on the table,” said a highly place source.