Change hassles caused massive snarls on DND (Delhi Noida Direct) Flyway on Wednesday.
The Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL), which operates and maintains the link, has increased the toll rate by 10%, meaning a car has to pay R22 instead of R20 and a two-wheeler will be paying R11 against the earlier R10.
With the hike coming into effect from Tuesday midnight, commuters using the eight-lane flyway were left stranded as the entire stretch remained chock-a-block with vehicles piled up during the morning and evening rush hour on Wednesday.
NTBCL’s tall claims of having made all necessary arrangements, such as deploying additional manpower for distribution of pre-paid coupons and collection of coins from commuters, to tackle the problem fell flat.
Those manning the plazas struggled to clear the jam, while the motorists complained that they were held up for at least 10 to 15 minutes at the toll collection booths.
“It took 15 minutes for me to cross the toll plaza,” said Vipin Sharma of Indirapuram in Ghaziabad, who works at New Friends Colony in Delhi.
Commuters said the plaza staff had enough coins but the process of exchange of money was slow.
Earlier, commuters were allowed to cross the toll barrier in less than a minute.
“I took a U-turn and took the Mayur Vihar route to reach my shop at Lajpat Nagar,” said Mangat Sing, a resident of Noida Sector 22. However, the NTBCL said it was only an initial hiccup and things would improve from Thursday.
“The jam was mainly because of heavy rush of commuters going towards Delhi via Okhla Barrage to avoid Chhath Puja crowds along the bank of Yamuna. The arrangements made to deal with the change hassles are working fine. There’s no need to have a plan B,” said NTBCL’s senior manager (operations) Anwar Abbasi.
About 1 lakh vehicles use DND Flyway every day. Of them 75,000 are private cars.
The fresh ordeal came after three days of traffic jams due to F1 race.
Even on Tuesday evening, traffic towards Delhi was diverted from Okhla Barrage to DND and other routes because of Chhath Puja, resulting in massive jams.
Meanwhile, Various groups have opposed the increase in toll rate on the DND Flyway.
A federation of the resident welfare associations (RWAs) held a meeting and decided to meet the Noida Authority CEO, Balvinder Kumar, seeking his intervention to make the flyway toll-free for vehicles.
Various bodies of traders and NGOs also participated in the meeting. They will carry out a signature campaign to put pressure on the authority.
Ran Singh, a resident of Greater Noida, has already moved a petition in a local court, seeking direction towards handing over DND to Noida Authority.
Political parties, including BJP and Samajwadi Party, have also planned to hold a pro