iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Soibam Rocky Singh, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 18, 2014
Commuters who have been braving massive traffic snarls on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway may soon have a toll-free ride within days.
Highway authority NHAI, current toll operator DGSCL and project financier IDFC on Monday told the Delhi high court that they have come to a consensus to replace DGSCL and remove the toll plaza at Sirhaul.
Ending the two-year-long dispute, the parties told the court that they will submit their agreement on Tuesday. If the court approves of the agreement and passes a ‘consent order’, the Sirhaul toll plaza at the Delhi-Gurgaon border will be dismantled immediately.

Financier IDFC will then appoint a new operator to run operations and management of the remaining two toll plazas on the expressway.

The agreement is based on the May 2013 NHAI proposal allowing the current toll operator DGSCL to exit the project and walk free of all obligations to the project. In return, DGSCL had agreed to let go off the `988 crore demanded by it in relation to the project work.

Almost two lakh vehicles cross the Sirhaul toll plaza every day.

After the first toll plaza is removed, commuters will have to pay toll – which will be double the amount that they paid earlier -- only at the second toll plaza at Kherki Dhaula which goes to Manesar and Jaipur. An estimated 50,000 vehicles cross the Kherki-Dhaula toll plaza daily.

Once the toll plaza is removed, NHAI will make an alternate facility for the South Delhi Municipal Corporation to collect ‘entry tax’ from commercial vehicles entering the Capital. A large portion of the expressway road will be left open for free traffic movement, the NHAI had earlier assured the court.