Though a year has passed when a 22-year-old youth was shot dead over payment of Rs. 27 fee at the Kherki Daula toll plaza on Delhi-Gurgaon expressway, the toll employees continue to live under constant fear due to the minimal presence of police on the premises.
Toll attendant Umesh Kumar Pandey was shot at from point-blank range by the driver of an SUV after an argument ensued over the payment of toll charges in September last year.
Pandey, who was shot by accused Vijay Veer, died on the spot.
Even as the threat of unruly commuters continues to lurk, the concessionaire firm — Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) — is yet to deploy armed security personnel at the plaza.
The toll attendants and employees said they discharged their duties under threat.
Though the employees want the DGSCL and police to take stringent measures, the security apparatus has not been strengthened.
“We had never imagined that Pandey would lose his life over Rs. 27. Arguments between commuters and toll plaza officials are quite common. There is no police presence. The company has not provided any security,” said a toll attendant at the Kherki Daula toll plaza on the condition of anonymity.
“There are no armed personnel at the toll booth. We collect lakhs of rupees as tax every day, but the company has failed to provide security,” he added.
The employees alleged that they are harassed and assaulted by unruly commuters almost daily, but the DGSCL has failed to curb such incidents.
Meanwhile, a DGSCL spokesperson told HT, “We have deployed marshalls and CCTVs have been installed at the toll.”