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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

Councillors join remove-toll-plaza chorus

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, September 04, 2013
First Published: 02:00 IST(4/9/2013) | Last Updated: 02:09 IST(4/9/2013)

The municipal councillors in Gurgaon have also joined the remove-toll-plaza chorus.

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As part of their efforts to get the toll plazas removed, 37 members of the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) have unanimously passed a resolution at the House meeting. Later, they sought Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s intervention to get the plazas removed.

The four tolls in question are at Kherki Daula road, Ballabhgarh-Sohna road, Mehrauli-Gurgaon road and the Gurgaon-Faridabad road.

The councillors say these toll plazas have caused traffic problems in a city which boasts of top class highways.

Terming it the greatest impediment in the resolution of the city’s traffic problems, senior deputy mayor and councillor (Ward 12) Yashpal Batra said, “The National Highway-8 is supposed to provide smooth passage to traffic but it is counterproductive due to the toll. With commuters getting stuck at the toll plazas for as long as two hours at a stretch, travelling to-and-fro Gurgaon becomes a nightmare.”

Recounting his own experiences of chock-a-bloc situation at the toll plaza, Batra said that once he was stuck at a toll bridge for more than an hour and got late for a family function.

“It has no reason to exist within the municipal limits and we wrote to the government regarding this a year ago. The chief minister had assured us that he would take up the issue at his level,” said Batra. Councillors said that the toll is the main bottleneck for entering the city and is adversely affecting Gurgaon’s image in many ways. “The toll plaza should certainly be removed as it causes multiple problems apart from the main traffic issue. It has consequences in terms of fuel consumption, time, environment and business,” said Nisha Singh, councillor (Ward 30).

Rama Ranee Rathee, councillor of Ward 34, said, “With an increase in the traffic, the toll plaza lanes have also increased. However, this has not regulated traffic. Those protesting against the toll have met representatives of all the political parties and I feel their efforts may soon be paid off.”

The councillors say that the ill-planned and poorly executed project has been a blessing for the private concessionaire on one hand while being an albatross around Gurgaon’s neck on the other.

“There is no clarity about the terms and conditions set by the government for designing the toll plazas. Though the toll is aimed at public convenience, private firms are minting money from the project with a tender to function for 20 years,” said Mahesh Dayma, councillor (Ward 32).


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