Fate of Eastern Peripheral Expressway remains undecided | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Fate of Eastern Peripheral Expressway remains undecided

Delhi commuters’ hope of getting relief from traffic jams caused by outbound heavy and commercial vehicles passing through the city roads seems to have got dashed, again.

delhi Updated: May 31, 2012 23:50 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta

Delhi commuters’ hope of getting relief from traffic jams caused by outbound heavy and commercial vehicles passing through the city roads seems to have got dashed, again.

The much-needed 135km Eastern Peripheral Expressway (EPE) project — one half of the peripheral road around Delhi to decongest city roads by providing an alternate route to traffic not bound for the Capital — has got further delayed.

The much-awaited meeting between finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, road minster CP Joshi and Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Thursday to decide how much toll commuters should pay for using the proposed EPE remained inconclusive.

The decision has been put on hold for now. Instead, the finance minister Thursday directed the road ministry to first frame a toll policy for expressways and get it approved by the cabinet.

As of now, only the existing National Highway Fee Rules, 2008 — toll is charged based on a 3% fixed rate plus 40% of yearly change in Wholesale Price Index — is applicable on highways and expressways.

“We have been asked to frame a separate toll policy for expressways and get it approved by the cabinet. Only after that a decision on EPE toll will be decided,” Joshi said

Recently, the road ministry had mooted a proposal to levy 50% more toll for traveling on hi-speed expressways.

The toll to be charged on the proposed EPE has become a bone of contention between different stakeholder ministries.

While the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure and the Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee have approved levying of normal toll rates on EPE at par with rates in other national highways including WPE, the Road Ministry has been insistent on levying toll which is 50% more than the normal toll rate.