Despite the highways authority temporarily suspending the toll at Kherki Daula, the 23-lane Kherki toll plaza continues to be a bottleneck on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) had suspended toll after the Centre announced the demonetisation of ₹1000 and ₹500 notes on November 8.
Union minister for road transport and shipping, Nitin Gadkari, announced on November 12 that the government had decided to extend the suspension of toll collection on all national highways till November 24.
Motorists take almost 30 minutes to cross the toll plaza. The worst affected were the daily commuters and employees working in industrial townships of Manesar, Dharuhera, and Bhiwadi.
“Traffic marshals and police should be deployed to manage traffic at the toll plaza,” Ragini Singh a commuter said.
An official of highway operator Skylar said after toll collection was stopped, commuters were driving at high speed but there was congestion as the lanes became narrow at the toll booths. “We will deploy more marshals on the stretch,” he said.
“We thought we will save time as there is no toll but it was worse today (Thursday),” Anand Kumar, another commuter, said.
Commuters coming from Hero Honda Chowk and wanting to take a U-turn added to the chaos as they were driving on the wrong lane.
“There were two traffic personnel before the U-turn but they were not able to manage traffic as the volume was high,” Dinesh Jha, a cab driver, said.
S Raghuraman, CEO of highway concessionaire MCEPL said the deployment of marshals was not the solution as they were not the enforcement authority. “Traffic personnel do not take any action. There have been a few factors such as the significant increase in traffic volume and lack of driving discipline that have led to the congestion despite suspension of the toll. We have written to the NHAI to shift the U-turn from here as it is the main cause of the bottleneck,” he said.