Heavy commercial vehicles continue to enter Delhi from Gurgaon via the NH 8 despite claims by the regional transport authority (RTA) that over 23,000 vehicles were diverted at two checkpoints in Gurgaon.
In an effort to clean the capital, the Supreme Court, in an order on January 5, barred the entry of heavy commercial vehicles from entering Delhi from national highways 2 (Delhi-Kolkata), 10 (Punjab-Delhi), and 58 (Uttrakhand-Ghaziabad-Delhi) along with state highway 57 (Baghpat-Ghaziabad-Delhi). The order was a follow-up to a December 16 ruling in which trucks coming from national highways 1 (Punjab-Haryana-Delhi) and 8 (Jaipur-Delhi) were banned from passing through Delhi.
As per a report by the RTA, Haryana, 13 checkpoints were established on four out of five national highways - 1, 2, 8 and 10 -- that pass through Delhi. The report said two posts were established on Rajiv Chowk and Panchgaon in Gurgaon to divert heavy vehicles from NH 8.
However, when an HT team visited Rajiv Chowk and Pachgaon on NH 8 between 9:30 pm and 10:30pm on February 24 and 28, no barricades were found and heavy vehicles were seen moving towards Delhi. No checkpoints were seen within a kilometre of the points mentioned in the report.
However, according to secretary of RTA Gurgaon Sushil Sarwan 23,815 heavy vehicles not bound for Delhi, were re-routed from the two checkpoints in Gurgaon. As many as 20,795 trucks were redirected from Rajiv Chowk on NH8 towards Farukhnagar and Jhajjar on NH 71. Similarly, 3020 vehicles were diverted near Pachgaon.
“Two major stretches from where heavy trucks cross to Delhi in Gurgaon are Rajiv Chowk and Pachgaon. Strict arrangements have been made to ensure that the trucks are diverted and do not enter Delhi,” Sarwan added.
Contradicting the report by the RTA, commuters said they have not seen any such checkpoints. “I have not seen any trucks being checked or diverted here. There were no barricades installed in the area,” an autorickshaw driver said.
As Sushil Sarwan did not reveal details of the location of the checkpoints even after repeated attempts, HT contacted another senior RTA official, who said that he was unaware of any such checkpoints.
“I have no knowledge of any such diversions or barricading being undertaken by the RTA on Gurgaon roads. There has been no information passed to us about checkpoints at Rajiv Chowk and Panchgaon in Gurgaon,” the RTA official said.
Speaking on the issue, additional chief secretary of transport and civil aviation departments, Haryana, SS Dhillon, said, “The RTA has a small staff and it is not possible for the department to check the vehicles crossing the points daily. The residents should ensure that they follow the rules and the Delhi government should take more action near the state boards to ensure that no one violates the Supreme Court guidelines.”