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Illegal access points to e-way a cause of snarls

kherki daula toll plaza Updated: Apr 27, 2016 13:48 IST
Abhishek Behl
Abhishek Behl
Hindustan Times

No establishment or institution is allowed direct access to the expressway without the permission of the National Highways Authority of India. (Abhinav Saha/HT Photo)

Unauthorised access points dotting the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway from Mahipalpur to Kherki Daula toll plaza are a cause of frequent snarls and accidents on the expressway. Vehicles moving on the busy service roads are often abruptly confronted by a slow moving truck or a car coming at high-speed from a roadside hotel or mall.

The highway authorities admit that issuing repeated warnings to the property owners on this road has not helped in plugging these holes.

The Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway administrator Ashok Sharma says that no one is allowed a direct access to the expressway without the permission of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). “We have asked the concessionaire to take this matter seriously and issue notices to violators,” Sharma said.

In February, the concessionaire MCEPL issued notices to 93 commercial establishments, apartment complexes, colonies and institutions that had illegally gained direct access to the highway without permission or licence, MCEPL CEO S Raghuraman said. The maximum number of access violations are between Mahipalpur and Shiv Murti on the Delhi side, and between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Daula in Gurgaon.

A large part of the service road and crucial entry/exits get choked daily because of these illegal access points. From Rajiv Chowk to Kherki Daula, these access points combine with encroachments and traffic in the

wrong direction.

Associate professor of School of Planning and Infrastructure Dr Sewa Ram says the main issue on the expressway is that service roads have assumed the role of an arterial road and the elevated part is used as a freeway. “At the time of planning, there should have been traffic impact assessment of various buildings and commercial establishments so that suitable measures can be taken. If the illegal access is blocked, the owners of those plots will demand access to other roads but that is not possible,” he said.

In order to get a licence for access to the highway, a commercial or residential entity can approach the Union ministry of road transports and highway through the NHAI. For private property, the fees is between `1.5 lakh and `4.5 lakh, and fuel pumps have to pay `2 lakh annual fees, which increases by 10% every year.

Experts say there should have been a parallel arterial road on both sides of the expressway for intra-city traffic to move east-west and north-south. This will also give alternative access to the establishments along the road.

The NHAI, however, maintains that when this road was planned, it was difficult to visualise such an exponential growth in Gurgaon. Dr Sewa Ram says this road was primarily meant to cater to the inter-state traffic, but with time, the needs have changed drastically. There is a need to reassess the purpose of this road, curb unauthorised access points, and implement rules if the city needs to get rid of gridlocks along

the expressway.