After the ball was set rolling for removing the present toll plazas beyond municipal limits, the Toll Hatao Sangharsh Samiti (THSS) has shifted the focus of its campaign on service lanes along the National Highway-8.
Members of the association would lead a delegation to present its new charter of demands to Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
Demanding the resolution of the toll plaza quagmire till December this year, THSS vice-president RS Rathee highlighted the problem of encroachment on service lanes at a press conference on Sunday.
“The width of service lanes must be 12 metres excluding the 38-metre-wide green belt the highway out of the right of way (ROW) of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI). At present, the area has been encroached upon at several points by properties built by builders falling under the jurisdiction of the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda).”
At the meeting, residents pointed out that rampant encroachment has clogged service lanes around Ambience Mall, Mall of India, National Media Centre, outside the Gateway Towers, Iffco Chowk Metro station, Vatika Westin, Signature Towers, along the Management Development Institute (MDI), 32nd Milestone and in Sectors 15 and 17, among others.
“The Huda had spent R10 crore on green belt during the Commonwealth Games. Now, the green spaces are being encroached upon to make way for slip roads and service lanes. This is unacceptable,” said Col Kanwar Bharadwaj, THSS president.
Saying that service lanes are a vital solution to traffic snarls in areas such Signature Towers and the national highway itself, Attar Singh Sandhu, secretary of the association, said, “The administration and politicians have been handing out periodic ‘lollypops’ of promises but doing nothing to ensure adequate traffic infrastructure.”
The Sunday meeting came after the association claimed to have got assurances from the chief minister and the chairperson of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) over dismantling the Sirhaul toll plaza and shifting of the Kherki Daula plaza outside the municipal limits.
The citizens’ group said that the NHAI head said the Kherki Daula toll plaza may be shifted near Bilaspur Chowk.
On the other hand, financial company IDFC also gave a proposal to the Delhi High Court on May 2 for removal of the Delhi-border (Sirhaul) toll plaza. The key lender has also proposed shifting of the Kherki Daula toll plaza, 12 kms away from the city towards Jaipur. If accepted, commuters between Delhi and the Millennium City would not have to pay any toll for inter and intra-city travelling.
The motorists would have to pay toll only if they cross Bilaspur (the proposed location for the new toll plaza). Two and three-wheelers are already exempted from paying toll.