Lifting of boom barriers causing huge losses to operator, concessionaire
Every time the traffic stretches beyond 500 metres at the toll plaza, the police lift the boom barriers to facilitate free passage and thereby reduce congestiongurgaon Updated: Jun 10, 2017 23:22 IST
With the Haryana government pushing to get the Kherki Daula toll shifted or removed, tension has escalated among stakeholders and service providers.
Since last November, the concessionaire and operator suffered huge losses as the police lifted boom barriers time and again to reduce congestion.
Every time the traffic stretches beyond 500 metres at the toll plaza, the police lift the boom barriers to facilitate free passage and thereby reduce congestion.
Nearly 1.25 lakh vehicles pass through the Kherki Daula toll plaza every day and, of these, 80,000 vehicles stop and pay the toll. The toll plaza collects an average of Rs 40 lakh to Rs 45 lakh daily, depending on the traffic volume.
Until last November, highway operator Skylark had to pay an average of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh as penalty to concessionaire MCEPL for the time the boom barriers stayed up allowing free passage.
Since then, the police have been strictly enforcing the ‘no congestion beyond 500 metres’ rule and have been lifting boom barriers more frequently to ease traffic.
The result has been that the operator ended up paying nearly Rs 45 lakh to Rs 48 lakh per month as penalty.
This has led to a lot of bad blood between the concessionaire and the highway operator Skylark. The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is also not satisfied with the situation and it recently issued notices to improve operations.
The issue of heavy penalties and frequent jams during peak hours has created a tension among the operator, concessionaire and the highways authority. The pressure from Haryana government to shift the toll has further added to the discontent, an official said.
MCEPL said it has made adequate arrangements for increasing toll booths, providing electronic payments modes, RFID tags and similar facilities. However, operator Skylark insists that resources employed in managing the toll plaza are inadequate as per lane traffic movement.
The operator is also miffed by the fact that the number of toll plaza employees has not been increased substantially and the toll rates have not been hiked.
S Raghuramn, CEO, MCEPL, said the maintenance of 8km of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway at Signature Tower, Iffco Chowk and Rajiv Chowk has been given to Gawar Constructions but still full payments are being made to the operator.
“Efforts are being made to streamline the traffic and such issues crop up, but these are being resolved,” he said.