The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has sought a proposal from the Gurgaon Expressway concessionaire to allow round trips to commuters on a single toll ticket.
The move comes after directions from Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to reduce congestion on the crucial highway in the wake of the gridlock in the city after rain on July 28.
Apart from the proposal, the highway authority is planning to increase the number of lanes at the Kherki Daula toll plaza to facilitate smooth movement of vehicles. Every day, around 1.25 lakh vehicles pass through the toll plaza, of which nearly 70,000 pay toll. The heavy movement of vehicles and the time taken to pay the toll and cross the plaza leads snarls on the stretch.
Ashok Sharma, project director of NHAI, said a proposal has been sought from the concessionaire and the decision will be taken by the ministry of road transport and highways.
“If the concessionaire submits a proposal, we will study it and forward it to the ministry for approval,” said Sharma.
There is, however, a problem in going ahead with the decision. The present concession agreement does not provide for multiple entries on one ticket and a notification in this regard will be needed from the ministry to implement the decision.
The concessionaire, Millennium City Expressways Pvt Ltd (MCEPL), meanwhile said allowing round trip on a single ticket will reduce congestion only marginally.
“There is a need to increase the number of toll lanes. Despite repeated requests, the land has not been made available to us for the expansion,” said S Raghurman, CEO, MCEPL.
Raghurman said they will not have a problem implementing the double entry proposal, if there is no financial loss.
About increasing space at the Kherki Daula toll plaza, Sharma said they have expedited efforts to lease land at the plaza so that five more lanes can be set up for faster movement of vehicles.
“We are trying to work out a lease agreement with two companies, which are fighting a legal battle over the land,” said Sharma.
Haryana CM Khattar, during his visit to Gurgaon last week after rain led to massive waterlogging and jams, instructed the NHAI to take measures to ensure that traffic congestion on the expressway is reduced. He also called for faster completion of the construction of a flyover and additional drains at Hero Honda Chowk.