GUWAHATI, March 4 – The Central government has directed opening of toll plazas at seven locations of the State, Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary informed the Assembly today.

The toll plaza at Dahalapara in Bongaigaon started functioning on January 30, while toll collection at the Raha and Patgaon (Kokrajhar) plazas began on March 1 and February 17 respectively, he said.

Two more plazas – Nazirakhat (Kamrup) and Madanpur (Kamrup Metro) – are likely to be functional from March 25, while the one at Mikirati Hawgaon (Hojai) will be opened on March 18 and the one at Manderdisa (Dima Hasao) on March 31.

AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam raised the issue of toll gates during the zero hour, citing protests from various organisations.

The minister said the toll plazas are under the purview of the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, and the State government cannot take any decision on the matter. The toll collected at the plazas is utilized for infrastructural works, he said.

“The CAG, in its 2017-18 report had underlined that non-functioning of the toll plazas were leading to loss of revenue of the government. The Central government had also made it clear that if toll tax is not collected, it would not release fund for repair of the damaged stretches in those highways,” Patowary said.