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CDA, NHA response sought on inner city toll plazas

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court issued notices to Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Imtiaz Inayat Elahi and National Highway Authority (NHA) Chairman Altaf Ahmed Chaudhry on Monday in a case concerning toll taxes.

Amir Masood Mughal, a resident of Islamabad, filed a writ petition through his legal counsel Farrukh Dall contesting the legality of collecting toll taxes on inner city routes. The petitioner maintained that city residents should be exempted from “the unjust tax”, giving the example of people who travelled from sector G-13 to G-14 daily and were not exempted.

The petitioner told the court that CDA had issued a notification on November 2001 in order to collect toll taxes from the residents of Islamabad at three toll plazas, including Kashmir Highway near Golra, Islamabad Highway near Rawat and I-J Principal Road.

He told the court that CDA charged Rs 400 per year from the residents of Islamabad, besides which they paid toll-taxes daily.

According to the petitioner, he had made several requests for the respondents to move toll plazas from inside the city to outside and exempt locals but they did not pay heed.

He informed the court that in 1997, the Punjab government imposed entry toll tax at the Islamabad-Murree toll plaza, but later withdrew it for the same reason. He said that toll taxes for inner city routes were against the fundamental rights of the public and accused the respondents of charging toll taxes in violation of Article 25 of the constitution.

Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan heard the case after which notices were issued to CDA and NHA chairpersons.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 1st, 2011.

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