New operator to promote tags, curb accidents
Decongesting the Delhi-Gurgaon toll plaza and curbing fatalities in accidents would be major challenges before the new Portugese operator at the toll plaza. Sanjeev K Ahuja reports. New operator, new promisesgurgaon Updated: Feb 01, 2013 02:08 IST
Decongesting the Delhi-Gurgaon toll plaza and curbing fatalities in accidents would be major challenges before the new Portugese operator at the toll plaza.
IDFC group head Sanjay Grewal said promotion of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) electronic toll collection system such as smart tags, cards and other devices would be one of the top priorities as this would help in reducing the queues at the toll plazas
About 1.10 lakh smart tags and cards are in circulation at present as against the average 2 lakh toll-able vehicles crossing the toll plaza daily.
Grewal claimed to go beyond the terms and conditions laid in the concessionaire agreement signed between the DGSCL and NHAI to improve the conditions at the toll plaza.
IDFC, that is all set to acquire majority stake in the project, has engaged Portuguese firm Feedback Brisa for the operation, maintenance and tolling of the 27.7 km long Gurgaon Expressway.
Grewal said controlling non-tag users from straying into tag-exclusive lanes and preventing entry of slow-moving vehicles into lanes for speeding vehicles was another challenge that needed to be address on priority basis.
The announcement of the new operator on Wednesday, however, scotched plans by the Haryana government to buy out the project. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda had announced his government's intention to buy out the project in November and had claimed to have spoken to Union road transport and highways minister CP Joshi.
Grewal said the NHAI board took the decision to transfer the major stake to IDFC with certain factors in mind "in the larger interest of the commuters".
The NHAI board on Wednesday evening approved a proposal to transfer 74 per cent equity in the expressway project to infrastructure finance company IDFC from Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL), the original concessionaire.
IDFC was one of the lead lenders for the project.