Odishatv Bureau

Sambalpur: The Sambalpur Highway Users Forum on Saturday began its agitation at the three toll plazas on the recently-inaugurated Sambalpur-Rourkela Biju Expressway protesting collection of toll taxes.

Terming the toll collection as 'illegal', the forum staged the agitation at three toll plazas at Masanikani in Sundargarh, Rengali in Sambalpur and Laing in Rajgangpur.  Several various lawyers' associations and general public have also extended support to the strike.

The forum has been demanding waiving of toll tax for four-wheelers registered in Sambalpur on the expressway, which was inaugurated by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on March 12.

Earlier on May 16, bar associations of Sundergarh, Sambalpur, Jharsuguda, Rajgangpur, Rourkela and Boani had unanimously decided to support the cause.

"We had submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the Minister concerned seeking exemption of toll tax for the larger interest of people. We had also given the CM an ultimatum till May 25 to take decision in this regard. Since our demands have not been fulfilled yet, we resorted to agitation," said a member of the forum.

It is unfair that the State Government is collecting hefty amount of toll tax from the general people, said a senior citizen.