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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Toll-free Gurgaon-Delhi e-way ride hits a bump again

Sanjeev K Ahuja and Soibam Rocky Singh, Hindustan Times   New Delhi, February 19, 2014
First Published: 00:44 IST(19/2/2014) | Last Updated: 02:31 IST(19/2/2014)

Commuters looking forward to traffic snarl free Gurgaon to Delhi expressway ride may have to wait for a few more days.
 
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Tuesday sought the Delhi High Court’s intervention to allow it to retain the existing infrastructure to collect ‘entry toll tax’ from commercial vehicles entering Delhi from Gurgaon.

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Even as the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), current toll operator DGSCL and project financier IDFC reached a compromise on the two-year-long dispute paving way for replacing DGSCL with a new operator and remove the toll plaza at the Delhi-Gurgaon border, the SDMC’s latest stand could delay the removal of the toll plaza at Rajokari, which is the entry point to Delhi.
 
The corporation has contended that it will suffer “irreparable loss and injury” in case it was not allowed to use the existing toll plaza.

The NHAI, however, opposed the plea saying that it did not wanted the same chaos and disruption to free traffic flow due to the toll plaza. During earlier hearings, NHAI had agreed to an alternate facility for the corporation to collect 'entry tax'.
 
Justice Manmohan Singh posted the matter for hearing on Wednesday during which he will also consider the agreement submitted by NHAI, IDFC and DGSCL. The agreement, if approved by the court, would form part of a consent order leading to removal of the toll plaza at Sirhaul.

The agreement is based on the May 2013 NHAI proposal allowing the current toll operator Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL) to exit the project and walk free of all obligations to the project. In return, DGSCL has agreed to let go off the Rs. 988 crore demanded by it in relation to the project work.

 The IDFC will then appoint a new operator to run the operations and management of the remaining two toll plazas on the expressway.

 After the first toll plaza is removed, commuters will have to pay toll – which will be double the amount that they paid earlier -- only at the second toll plaza at Kherki Dhaula which goes to Manesar and Jaipur. An estimated 50,000 vehicles cross the Kherki-Dhaula toll plaza daily.


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