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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Haryana to go extra mile for toll-free eway

Sanjeev K Ahuja, Hindustan Times  Gurgaon, May 11, 2013
First Published: 01:07 IST(11/5/2013) | Last Updated: 01:09 IST(11/5/2013)

The Haryana government — which has been making efforts to remove toll plazas from the Gurgaon Expressway from the last six months for the benefit of commuters — has refused to seek financial aid from private sector developers.

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Instead, it has reiterated that it is ready to bear whatever the cost to ensure removal of all the three toll plazas.

During a meeting with the director general of town & country planning department (DGTCP), Anurag Rastogi, in March, a delegation of 15 developers led by DLF group vice-chairman Rajiv Singh had proposed to bear the financial cost resulting from the termination of the expressway contract of the concessionaire.

If terminated under the ‘political force majeure event’ in view of Haryana government requesting to make the expressway toll-free, the state government may have to make the termination payment of R357 crore. 

Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda while talking to Hindustan Times on Friday rubbished reports of taking financial assistance from developers.

Hooda, who met union highways minister CP Joshi on Thursday to discuss various options to make the expressway toll-free, said, “We will do whatever is possible to ensure that the expressway is made toll-free. We will not take the help of developers,” added Hooda.

The Haryana chief minister said six months ago, his government had announced that sincere efforts would be made to ensure removal of toll plazas for the benefit of lakhs of commuters.

 During the meeting in March, 15 developers had emphasised on the need to remove the toll plaza at both ends of the expressway, which caused hindrance in the flow of traffic.

It was also pointed out that commuters felt relieved following the ban on the collection of toll by the Punjab & Haryana High Court last year.

DGTCP Rastogi also said though the option was being deliberated by the NHAI, the financial implication of such a decision would be quite huge.

The private developers led by Rajiv Singh assured to consider the matter and rope in builders to bear the entire cost of the initiative.


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