The tragic killing of toll attendant Umesh Kumar Pandey on Friday at Kheri Daula toll plaza on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway has once again brought the issue of security at these facilities to the fore.
Although clashes between commuters and toll plaza officials are a regular feature, there has been no police presence at these facilities. The expressway firm is also equally at fault as the CCTVs installed outside toll counters are not functional.
To avoid payment of toll tax, unruly motorists, posing as VIPs, pick fights with expressway employees.
In the latest incident, a white Mahindra Bolero stopped at the toll counter and the driver refused to pay the toll amount of R27.
“The man on the driver’s seat got down and entered into verbal altercation with Pandey after which he shot Pandy in his chest and fled,” said a senior police officer.
“This is a very unfortunate incident and we will take tough action against the culprits. We have already deployed policemen at the plazas. More steps will be taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents,” said Alok Mittal, joint commissioner of Gurgaon police.
On June 16, three assailants attacked two Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway officials on patrol when they asked accused to remove their tractors parked on the service lane near Sushant Lok Chowk. The accused hit the victims with iron rods badly injuring them, the police said.
“The victims, Baljeet Singh and Dharmender Singh, managed to escape and report the matter to the police. When a police constable, Pawan Kumar, came, the accused assaulted him too. However, the accused managed to flee the spot after snatching a walkie-talkie from the constable,” said a police officer.
However, the following day, the police arrested the accused from IMT Manesar Chowk and impounded their vehicles.
“We have sought the help of the police to control such incidents. Strict action must be taken against trouble-makers. Everyday we have to deal similar situations. People who claim to be VIPs or politicians threaten our staff,” said an expressway official.