ICC barriers in Zirakpur, Balongi to be shifted

Taxis

Zirakpur and Balongi are set to get relief from frequent traffic bottlenecks caused because of the Information Collection Centre (ICC) barriers on the busy National Highway 22 and 21. The government has decided to shift these barriers elsewhere.

"A new site ahead of Zirakpur flyover, towards Chandigarh, has been taken on rent. The Public Works Department has been asked to assess the rent after which its possession will be taken from its private owner," Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (Mobile Wing) Jaskaran Brar told Newsline.

Brar added that the Zirakpur barrier would probably be shifted in a fortnight. Negotiations are on with private landowners in Daon village to construct one more room besides the two existing check-posts there, he said.

"While the check-posts will accommodate the staff members, who deal with daily routine work, an additional room is required for officials, computers and keeping official records," Brar said, hoping that "negotiations will mature shortly".

In Zirakpur, these barriers exist on the Chandigarh-Delhi highway and in Balongi on the Mohali-Kharar highway.

Confirming the development, Punjab Excise and Taxation Commissioner A Venu Prasad said, "It will take another couple of months to shift the rest of the ICC barriers causing traffic bottlenecks."

What are ICC barriers?

The Department of Excise and Taxation had set up 27 ICC barriers all over Punjab on December 6, 1999 in order to check tax evasions and generate revenue.

These computerised ICC, which are connected with the department's head office in Patiala, had replaced the sales tax barriers, abolished in 1995 by the then Congress government.

How do they lead to accidents?

Ever since they were built, these barriers led to the loss of many lives in accidents. Traffic jams and fatal accidents are a norm at Balongi and Mullanpur barriers, among others.

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