The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday allowed Delhi-Gurgaon expressway toll plaza concessionaire to collect toll fee only from the commercial vehicles entering Delhi from Gurgaon from 6 pm onwards on behalf of the municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD).
The court would take the final call on September 25 whether to allow the concessionaire to collect toll tax from other vehicles too.
The high court had on September 4 restrained the concessionaire from collecting toll tax for a period of 15 days.
The division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain also granted two days time to the concessionaire Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) to increase the number of toll collection lanes from the existing 32 to 53 and to implement all the measures as finalized in the meeting held on September 19 among the concerned agencies.
The court also appointed the former chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court, Mukul Mudgal, as court commissioner to inspect the toll plaza site between 5 pm to 7 pm on September 23 (Sunday). The court commissioner has been directed to submit his report, whether the concessionaire had implemented the arrangements as committed before the court in order to ease traffic problems, by way of e-mail or courier, to the court, concessionaire and the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), before the next date of hearing on September 25.
The court said that the court commissioner would be paid one lakh rupees as fee and would be assisted by the independent consultant, STUP consultants, at inspection time.
However, the bench also said, “Condition of traffic at Kherki Daula (toll plaza on Delhi-Gurgaon expressway) is not very good. Often there are traffic jams. We issue word of caution to concessionaire and NHAI to start taking remedial measures or else strict action would be taken.”
The bench, while accepting the request of municipal corporation of Delhi (MCD), said, “we permit concessionaire to collect toll fee for commercial vehicles coming from Gurgaon on four lanes towards Udyog Vihar. Other four lanes from Gurgaon to Delhi shall remain open till further order.”
On concessionaire’s request, Haryana government will provide police personnel as per state’s agreement and so far as charge of cops are concerned, it would be decided while passing the final orders, ordered the court.
During the hearing of the case, concessionaire’s counsel, senior advocate ML Sareen, apprised the court that on September 19 a meeting was conducted between the concessionaire, Haryana government authorities, NHAI, private companies DLF and IBM etc. and many decisions were taken for easing traffic. The court was informed that it was decided to convert traffic coming from Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon and entering Delhi by constructing a connecting road and additional toll booths. Sareen further added that two cash lanes at end of both sides of the toll plaza will be opened and at a small distance ahead 6-7 toll booths will be installed.
Regarding construction of road to divert traffic from Udyog Vihar which will open ahead of the toll plaza, the bench said, “As per the understanding between the parties, Haryana government, HUDA and HSIIDC shall forthwith support the concessionaire to construct road. Necessary road signages should be displayed.”
On this Sareen said that the Udyog Vihar link road would be constructed within two days and temporary kiosks with computers to manage traffic at split toll plaza will be put in place as decided.
The bench also raised the questions to the concerned authorities as to why the toll fee was fixed Rs. 21 and not rounded of. It was directed that the toll fee should be rounded of so that commuters are not harassed.
The case would now come up for hearing on September 25.