: In support of the Nagaland minister for local self government, Dr. Surhozelie’s reply to a query on the floor of the Assembly on July 7 stating that state government had not authorized any municipal or town councils to collect toll tax on the state roads and national high ways, the president of Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) Kezhokhoto Savi Advocate in a press release stated that as per order NO CS/2/ADM2009 June 22 issued by the chief secretary to the government of Nagaland in respect of banning collection of money in the check gates in any party of the highways with immediate effect should over/include the municipal/town councils toll taxes in the state. However, Savi added that collection of cash in the name of toll tax by the municipal/town councils on the highway was illegal. The release added that if any municipal council or town council was allowed to declare any part of the national highways as parking place, the result would be devastating as it would not only effect the power of the national highway authorities to control traffic in National Highways, but also adversely affect their power to manage and develop the national highway.
Alleging that Dimapur Municipal Council tax collectors have been indulging in extortion and were forcibly collecting amounts in excess of the prescribed rates, the Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation stated that to levy tax/free toll on the check gates and parking places located within the municipal or town council areas, has a direct and immediate impact on the trade and impede free flow and movement of trade.
Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation further stated that state legislators/state governments do not have any authority or jurisdiction to legislate on national highways. The state government, local bodies “if it so desire, develop any parking facility only outside the right way of national highways in its commercial interest or for any other purpose” but not within the right of way on the national highway. Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation has termed the ‘levy of toll’ by the municipal/town councils in the state as “wholly without jurisdiction, ultra vires, illegal and invalid”