The Haryana government is negotiating a deal to acquire the Kherki Daula toll plaza and the process will be expedited to ensure that this bottleneck is removed from the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar gave this reassurance on Thursday, while chairing the district grievances committee meeting. The CM maintained that there were a lot of formalities to be completed before the toll is removed.
To give some relief to commuters, Khattar also directed the state PWD minister Rao Narbir Singh to explore the possibility of a free service road for local vehicles, if there was such a provision in the concessionaire agreement.
“We are working out the acquisition deal with the concessionaire but it is a long drawn process as several issues are involved in taking over the toll plaza,” Khattar said in reply to the issue raised by DC Yadav, a member of the committee.
The CM had earlier raised the matter with Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari during the Happening Haryana Summit in March and, subsequently, a number of meetings were held to discuss the acquisition.
To acquire the toll plaza, the government has to arrange around Rs 1,500 cr to pay the highway concessionaire MCEPL, which has right to collect toll on the expressway till 2023.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which owns the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, has already said that it won’t have any objection if the state buys back the Kherki Daula toll, provided compensation is paid to the concessionaire and other conditions are met.
Khattar has also asked Haryana PWD minister Rao Narbir Singh, who is the pointsman for the resolution of Kherki toll issues, to find out if there is a provision for free service lane for local vehicles at the toll plaza.
As the process initiated by government to remove the toll has been slow paced, there is growing concern among residents regarding the government’s promise to remove this bottleneck.
“I brought this issue to the notice of the chief minister because the toll is a major problem for people as well as industries in Gurgaon. I told him about the daily jams and the need for completing the negotiation at the earliest,” Yadav said.
Meanwhile, Gurgaon based Toll Hatao Sangarsh Samiti is also planning to meet Khattar and press for the toll plaza removal during the state BJP executive meeting on June 18 and 19. “The resolve of the government to remove the toll plaza is positive but the matter should be expedited as people are facing a lot of problems,” said RS Rathee, samiti vice-chairman.