Will free ride continue? Court to decide today | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Will free ride continue? Court to decide today

gurgaon Updated: Sep 25, 2012 00:50 IST
Sanjeev K Ahuja

The Punjab and Haryana High Court will take a call on the fate of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and extension of the toll-free ride for commuters on Tuesday.

A report submitted on the traffic situation at the toll plaza by Mukul Mudgal, retired chief justice of the high court, will be the deciding factor.

Appointed as local commissioner by the court, Mudgal visited the site on Sunday and suggested some decongestion measures. He raised some crucial points during the inspection and these are likely to figure in his report.

Mudgal observed that the Udyog Vihar link on which an eight-lane toll plaza has been proposed is too narrow for a traffic load of 15,000 vehicles. The retired judge suggested the road be widened by 50 metres.

He also proposed that the additional temporary 21 toll booths be made permanent for the convenience of commuters.

According to sources, the local commissioner also expressed annoyance on the lack of facilities for pedestrians such as footover bridges and subways near the toll plaza.

Absence of adequate number of ambulances and tow away services on the expressway were other problems.

The high court division bench of the then acting justice Jasbir Singh and Rakesh Kumar Jain had imposed a ban on toll collection on September 4.

However, since justice AK Sikri has assumed charge as the new chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, he will now hear the case along with Rakesh Kumar Jain on Tuesday.

Other stakeholders — NHAI officials, Haryana government, lenders and the expressway concessionaire DGSCL — are gearing up to face a volley of questions in court.

During the last hearing on Thursday, the court had grilled officials and counsels for more than an hour before allowing partial toll collection only from commercial vehicles.

The bench had also asked why commuters were charged R21 and why it could not be rounded off to Rs. 20 for faster transactions.

Other issues raised were that of two-way toll tickets and synchronisation of the hand-held toll collection machines with the regular system through GPRS, among others.