With just two days left for the Punjab and Haryana high court’s crucial decision on its earlier order banning collection of toll at the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway toll plaza, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is considering various traffic decongestion proposals at the 32-lane toll centre.
The high court had rapped the NHAI and the concessionaire DGSCL over persistent traffic snarls at the toll plaza.
The NHAI, the Haryana government and DGSCL on September 12 discussed various measures to resolve the problem, including penalising the cash users entering the tag lanes, implementation of touch-n-go smart cards, closure of a u-turn near Ambience Mall and 3-4 dedicated lanes for the vehicles entering Udyog Vihar from Delhi side.
But most of these measures were not discussed or sought from the stakeholders and no professional traffic research agency was consulted.
How practical some of these measures are can be gauged from the proposal to close the u-turn near Ambience Mall.
The move, if implemented, will prove a disaster for the hundreds of families living in the Lagoon Apartments, patrons of the Leela Kempinski hotel and thousands of other commuters.
To understand how impractical the move is, sample this: Once the u-turn is closed, those coming from Gurgaon side and headed to Lagoon Apartments, Ambience Mall and Hotel Leela Kempinski will have to wait in long queues at the toll plaza, pay Rs 21 toll and enter Delhi. Then they will take a u-turn from under the Rajokari flyover and wait again at the toll plaza to pay Rs 21 for entering Gurgaon again.
The total detour people will have to take is about 3.5 kms. It will also affect the traffic headed to DLF Phase 2 and 3, including The Shri Ram School, Tagore International and Sai Temple. It will also add nearly 10,000 vehicles to the snarls at the toll plaza, since now they take a u-turn to go to the Ambience Mall side.
Saurav Sood, 45, a resident of Lagoon Apartments, termed the proposal “ill-conceived”. “Earlier I would take a few minutes to reach my home by taking u-turn. But if the proposal is implemented, I will not only have to pay toll of Rs 42, I will also have to take a detour of 3-4 kms. You may also like to consider the hours-long wait at the toll plaza,” he said.