The Kherki Daula toll plaza on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway is likely to turn into a battlefield on Wednesday when around 100 policemen will be deployed to help the toll operator in charging vehicles owned by locals.
The residents of 31 villages situated near the expressway have been avoiding payment of toll for their private as well as commercial vehicles. The toll operator has claimed that it has lost about Rs. 24 crore since May last year as motorists from these 31 villages refused to pay toll tax.
Since Monday, the operator has distributed about 1,600 tollfree tags to local vehicles. It had set January 20 the last date for offering toll-free tags to those living in 31 villages. The deadline has now been extended till January 31.
According to the toll operator, these villages do not have more than 2,500 genuine beneficiaries who hold valid registration certificates to avail toll-free tags whereas more than 17,000 vehicles evade toll on a daily basis.
Navneet Pratap Singh, CEO of toll operator firm Skylark Group, said, the city police had assured of deploying about 50-100 personnel at the Kherki Daula toll plaza on January 21.
“The deadline for collecting the toll-free tags to the people residing in 31 villages surrounding the plaza expired on January 20. From today (Wednesday), we would start collecting toll from vehicles without toll-free tags under the police protection. Those intercepted at the toll plaza for toll collection and hailing from these 31 villages will be requested either to collect toll-free tag from the specially set up kiosk or pay the charges,” Singh added.
The chief executive officer of expressway concessionaire firm MCEPL, S Raghuraman said that his company has lost Rs. 24 crore since May due to the lack of law and order enforcement. “Since May, on an average, 4 lakh vehicles cross the toll plaza every month without paying toll,” he said.
The kiosk set up at the toll plaza was seen jam-packed on Saturday. The kiosk did not see even a single visitor on first day while 60 people came to collect tags on Tuesday and Wednesday.