Even as concessionaires across the country are getting ready for the challenge to resume toll collection from Friday midnight, they are also assessing their losses during the suspension period from November 8 to December 2.
Operators of the two major toll plazas in Gurgoan that include Kherki Daula on Delhi-Gurgaon expressway and Gurgaon-Faridabad expressway hope that the government will help make up for their losses, which run into crores of rupees.
Around 86,000 vehicles pay toll at the Kherki Daula toll every day, and the concessionaire claimed that it has accumulated losses to the tune of Rs11 crore during the suspension period.
“We collected an average of Rs45 lakh every day as toll charge but when it was suspended, we suffered huge losses,” said S Raghuraman, CEO, Millennium City Expressways Pvt Ltd (MCEPL). The concessionaire is hopeful of recovering the lost revenue as NHAI, which is responsible for this highway, has already assured that loss of revenue would be made good.
“Although we have been assured by the authorities, there is a need for more clarity on this issue,” said Raghuraman.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) during an earlier meeting with the concessionaires had assured them that revenue loss would be assessed, and compensation given to them.
Despite the immediate losses suffered by the concessionaire, the MCEPL has made provision of 65 swipe machines, which can be used by debit/credit card holders. Six more radio-frequency identification (RFID) booths have been erected, three each on both sides of the toll plaza to ensure easy movement of vehicles carrying smart tags. Twenty-five additional marshals will also be deployed in each of the shift to manage the rush.
The Gurgaon-Faridabad toll road on the other hand is a state-owned road, which comes under the Public Works Department (PWD). This highway witnesses 40,000-50,000 vehicles every day, and collects an average Rs12 to 13 lakh per day.
“We have suffered relatively less as the toll was closed for two days on November 10 and 11, and thereafter from November 24 till December 2. The state government has also assured us that the losses would be made good,” said a senior official of AR Tollway Pvt Ltd, adding that adequate measures are being taken to ensure smooth passage of vehicles.
After assessing the loss, the official said a submission would be made to the state government