The city police on Sunday arrested more than 50 people for “forcibly occupying” the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway toll plaza for 45 minutes. The protesters were demanding the removal of the toll plazas.
Police said they were expecting trouble as a residents’ group — Toll Hatao Sangarsh Samiti – had threatened a massive protest on Sunday. “A 400-strong crowd forcibly made all the lanes free,” DCP (East) Maheshwar Dayal said.
The protesters threw open plaza barriers and allowed motorists to take a free ride for 45 minutes. This caused huge losses to the expressway firm. Dayal along with a huge police team reached the spot and tried to initially placate the crowd. Later, 50 people were formally arrested. According to the police the situation is under control.
Recurring protests by the members of RWAs are burning a hole in the pocket of the expressway firm. According to the officials of Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd, the protest cost the firm about Rs 90,000 as 30,735 vehicles passed without paying toll tax.
This is not the first time the members the samiti carried out such a protest. “The toll plazas should be removed, and we will continue to fight till they are either removed or shifted out,” said Shami Ahlawat, a member of THSS.
On Friday, the Punjab and Haryana HC had directed the Haryana Police to ensure that the agitators did not disrupt the traffic and tolling operations on the expressway. “The concessionaire opened the toll gates on their own,” said the DCP. “This is unfortunate and happened in police presence,” said Manoj Aggarwal, CEO, operation and maintenance, DGSC Ltd.