The employees of Gurgaon Expressway at Kherki Daula toll plaza are living in fear as minimal police presence was seen on Saturday, a day after their colleague, Umeshkant Pandey, was shot dead. Concessionaire of the expressway, DS Constructions Ltd (DSCL), has not deployed an armed security guard on the toll plaza yet.
Fear has gripped Umeshkant’s colleagues and they are afraid to discharge their duties. They want the DSCL and police to take some stringent steps for their safety. But even after 48 hours the killing took place, no specific security measure has been taken on the toll plaza.
“He shared a cordial relationship with his colleagues. We never thought that he would lose his life over just R27. Although clashes between commuters and toll plaza officials are common, there has been no police presence at these facilities. The company is also not providing any security,” said a toll collector at Kherki Daula toll plaza, on condition of anonymity.
“Not a single armed security guard has been deployed here. We collect lakhs of rupees as tax everyday, but the company has failed to maintain security at the toll plaza. If petrol pumps and banks can have armed security guards, why is the company not taking such steps for the safety of its employees?” he rued. Police presence in the area is minimal even when incidents of commuters, posing as VIPs, picking up fights with toll plaza employees are common.
The employees feel helpless as both the concessionaire and police are least bothered about their security. Some employees said they are harassed, assaulted and threatened by unruly commuters almost daily, but the DSCL or police have hardly taken an action to curb such incidents.
“Umeshkant lost his life while performing his duties, but no action has been taken against the culprit. The police have not been able to arrest the killer yet,” said a security marshall at Delhi toll plaza, on condition of anonymity.
“We care for our employees. We will deploy more marshalls and CCTVs at toll plazas,” said a DGSCL spokesperson.
After the incident, the police department has assured to increase police presence at toll plazas. More PCR vans and policemen will be deployed there.
Umeshkant Pandey’s father Rajkishore Pandey, 70, is a marginal farmer. Umeshkant was the first from his family who tried his luck outside the native state. After his marriage nearly four months ago, he moved to Delhi.
Pandey came to Delhi for a job
Umeshkant Pandey, the 22-year-old toll collection staff at the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway was a resident of Baghoi in Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh. He came to the city six months ago in search of a job and joined DGSCL Kherki Dhaula toll plaza as a toll collector. According to police, he got married only six months ago and is survived by his 18-year-old wife Sushma and 2 brothers and parents.