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With all the stakeholders of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway toll plaza project reaching an agreement on Monday after prolonged meetings and negotiations, the removal of the Delhi-border toll plaza at Sirhaul is imminent now.
It has been coming ever since the present concessionaire agreed to let go of the project on January 10, 2014, but this time the commuters can really look forward to a specific day for the traffic ordeals to end. And, believe it or not, if all goes well, commuters won’t have to pay toll to cross Sirhaul from Tuesday night.
However, there are a few “ifs” still. If the stakeholders don’t spring any further surprise, if Delhi high court passes the consent order during Tuesday’s hearing and if road transport and highways minister Oscar Fernandez signs the re-notification document on the revised toll rates for the Kherki Daula toll plaza, the NHAI can formally ask project financier IDFC to stop charging toll from Tuesday midnight at the toll plaza on the Delhi border and lift the boom barriers permanently for the motorists travelling on this stretch.
But, the new toll rates are likely to be more than the double the existing ones (Rs 27 per trip for private cars). According to highly placed sources, the toll re-notification documents are lying on the table of Fernandez and he is reportedly waiting for the court to pass the consent order. The NHAI has already moved the ministry for re-notification of toll rates for the Kherki Daula toll plaza which would become the single-point toll collection centre on the stretch between Delhi and Manesar.
As per the law, the toll collection cannot be stopped at Sirhaul and the new rates cannot be charged at Kherki Daula unless the road transport ministry notifies the new toll rates which are actually revised every new financial year starting from April 1 midnight. Toll rates here have not been revised for the past two years following differences between DGSCL and the NHAI.
The 3-lane toll plaza on the IGI loop for the commuters going to IGI would continue to operate.