Failing to see any impressive steps taken to decongest traffic on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway toll plaza despite repeated directions, the Punjab and Haryana high court came down heavily on the concessionaire, Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited, on Tuesday by restraining it from collection of toll fee for a fortnight, starting from Tuesday midnight.
The division bench comprising acting chief justice Jasbir Singh and justice Rakesh Kumar Jain said the concessionaire would not collect toll fee from 11:59 pm onwards on Tuesday for the next 15 days. The Haryana government has been directed to provide dedicated police personnel to ensure security measures at the toll plaza.
The bench also directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to convene a meeting of the state authorities and the concessionaire’s representatives to come out with a permanent solution to the problems being faced by commuters on a daily basis. The bench observed that just because of the fight between the NHAI, state authorities and the concessionaire, the public was suffering.
The arguments given by the concessionaire’s counsel – that it was trying to put in every possible effort to find a solution, but the state authorities as well as the NHAI were not cooperating with the concessionaire - failed to impress the bench during the hearing of the case.
However, the state counsel submitted before the bench that the concessionaire had even failed to pay the security dues for the services of police personnel deployed at the toll plaza to ensure law and order. It was submitted that a total of 165 police personnel had been deployed at the spot. On this, the bench directed the authorities to take a decision at its meeting for the payment of outstanding dues.
The concessionaire’s counsel informed the bench that there were no permanent security personnel at the toll plaza and the cops who had been deployed there were in the habit of opening the boom barriers at their own convenience, causing a loss to the concessionaire.
The bench also made the observation that people had to pay a toll fee of Rs 21, but even then had to wait for more than half an hour in a traffic jam during peak hours. Though the project was of “national pride”, it had fallen flat, the bench said.
The bench adjourned the case for the next hearing on September 20.