DUSHANBE, April 4, 2011, Asia-Plus -- the branch of Innovative road Solutions (IRS), which collects tolls on the Dushanbe-Khujand-Chanak highway, has cut prices for residents of the Obigarm and Hushyori villages in Varzob district for one month, the IRS branch spokesman Asliddin Shamirov told Asia-Plus Monday afternoon.

According to him, the action that began on April 5 will last till May 5.  “During this period, small cars, minibuses and vehicles up to 2 tons belonging to residents of the mentioned villages will pay 1.00 somoni for proceeding via the Hushyori plaza,” said he, “Rates for other categories of vehicles will not be changed.”  Before that, category 1 vehicles (small cars, minibuses and vehicles up to 2 tons) had to pay 6.40 somoni for proceeding via the Hushyori plaza, while owners of category 1 vehicles from the villages of Obigarm and Hushyori paid 3.00 somoni.

Radio Liberty’ Tajik Service reports that some 30 residents of Obigarm and Hushyori gathered near the Hushyori plaza on April 2 demanding that a fixed fee is set for proceeding via that plaza.

The highway from Dushanbe to Chanak linking Tajik capital with Uzbekistan through the northern Sughd province was upgraded by Chinese companies and paid for with a $280 million loan from China.  The Tajik government decided that in order to repay the loan to China, a toll would be collected for using the road starting on April 1, 2010.

The government reportedly gave concessions to the Innovative Road Solutions company to collect tolls on this road.