The Allahabad High Court’s decision to declare the DND flyway toll free has brought hope for Gurgaon residents who will launch a fresh offensive for the removal of Kherki Daula toll plaza on Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.
Although no legal case has been filed by Gurgaon RWAs and Toll Hatao Sangharsh Samiti, the decision is likely to resurrect the agitation which they plan to hold on November 9.
They want the expressway concessionaire to declare the total investment made on this 28-km long e-way and the amount to be recovered from the commuters in terms of toll.
“The operator has already collected far more revenue than construction cost. It is time to remove the toll. We want the concessionaire to display the balance amount to be recovered from the commuters on its toll plaza,” said Gurgaon Citizens Council president and Samiti leader, RS Rathee.
He said the concessionaire collected R790 crore by August 2013, while its cost is R550 crore, according to the agreement. Kherki Daula toll is within the Gurgaon municipal limits, which is against the rules, he said.
Three lakh vehicles use the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, out of which 75,000 pay toll tax at the Kherki Daula toll. However, due to restricted space the toll has emerged as a major traffic bottleneck where traffic jams are witnessed daily during the morning and evening hours.
Gurgaon MP and Union minister Rao Inderjit Singh also supports the demand to remove or shift the toll plaza. He has raised the demand with Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari multiple times.
The Gurgaon MP has also asked the Haryana government to work towards removing the toll plaza.
MCEPL, which operates the plaza, has the right to collect toll from road users till 2023.
MCEPL CEO S Raguraman said the Haryana government can acquire the toll by paying them the amount invested by the banksand likely loss from scrapping the contract.
National Highways Authority of India, which owns the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, does not oppose the acquisition if the state government compensates the concessionaire.
Earlier, Haryana chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, had said the government was working with the Union transport ministry to resolve the Kherki Daula toll issue.
Haryana PWD minister Rao Narbir Singh had told HT that they planned to ensure that private cars and vehicles registered in Gurgaon district were allowed to pass through the plaza toll free since the acquisition of the plaza was a costly proposition.
However, none of the plans materialised, causing immense dissatisfaction among the city residents who face daily traffic jams.