For commuters travelling from Gurgaon to Delhi on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, clearing the Sirhaul toll plaza stretch where commercial vehicles have to pay taxes has become their bane. Commuters said it takes about an hour to cross the stretch during peak hours.
The eight-lane expressway expands to 16 lanes for a 500-metre stretch near the toll plaza and the toll collection facility is functional on eight lanes to the left of the divider. While many commercial vehicles with monthly payment receipts use the side lanes, some others try to dodge the toll collectors by taking the side lanes. However, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) monitoring the area on the main carriageway often stop commercial vehicles. The officials verify the driver’s details and monthly toll-tax payment documents on the spot, leading to snarls.
Many commuters said they refrain from taking the free side lanes as officials often halt commercial vehicles on these lanes.
“Even if a commercial vehicle is halted in the middle lanes, officials bring the vehicle to the side lanes for verifying documents and questioning the driver. Hence, it makes sense to avoid the side lanes...” Mahima Pal of Vasant Vihar said.
Ashok Sharma, project manager of the NHAI said there is a proposal to align the toll plaza lanes with the carriageway and a proposal has been sent to City Expressways Private Limited, which operates the expressway. Sharma, however, said there is no alternative to check commercial vehicles using the free lanes without stopping them on the spot.
“The Punjab and Haryana high court had directed the NHAI to solve the toll plaza traffic jam crisis. Abiding by the direction, plans have been formulated to use the unused land near the toll and create service lanes there to streamline traffic,” Sharma said.
After clearing the stretch, traffic from 16 lanes try to squeeze their way through the eight lanes near City Park Hotel, leading to more congestion.