Birgunj, March 30
Mona Construction, the contractor selected by Birgunj Sub-metropolis in Parsa, has reportedly been involved in financial irregularities in collecting toll tax for a while now.
As per the agreement, the company is authorised to collect toll tax from Gandak Depot, Laxmanwa, Bhansar, Rajat Jayanti, Shankaracharya Gate, Padam Road, Chhapakaiya, Alau, Bindabasini, and Bypass areas. However, the company is reportedly also collecting tax from Bahuari Chowk of the Dry Port area, and unauthorised places on the Bypass road.
Not only that, the company is also said to be levying higher tax than agreed in the contract on Indian vehicles.
“As per the agreement, the company is allowed to charge six-wheeler trucks with Indian number plates NRs 160, Indian trucks with more than ten wheels and buses NRs 200, but they are charging this amount in Indian currency,” said driver and vehicle owner Shiva Patel of Shreepur, adding, “Collecting toll tax at Bahuari chowk on the Dry Port-Parawanipur Road is totally illegal.”
On his part, Birgunj sub-metropolis revenue officer Manoj Karna conceded that they have received complaints against the contractor. “We’ve heard complaints but as the matter is connected with the income of the sub-metropolis, we opted to keep mum,” he said, adding that the company’s payment in return for the contract has been a major lifeline to the municipality which is going through a bad financial condition now.
Karna also said, “Although it is illegal to collect tax from the highway area, we had recently repaired a damaged road section of the bypass area using municipal sources. We reached agreement on allowing the company to collect tax there at least,” he informed.