Toll-free passage on the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) Flyway, the 9.2km-long access-controlled 8-lane road connecting South Delhi to Noida and East Delhi, brought relief to commuters across the national capital region on Thursday.
Thursday rush hour came minus the long queues, which had become a regular sight at the toll booths over the past decade.
On Wednesday, the Allahabad high court had passed an order restraining Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd (NTBCL) from collecting toll with immediate effect.
Praveen Kumar, a resident of Ashram, New Delhi, said the first thing he noticed in the morning was the smooth flow of traffic, unlike other weekdays.
“It was a seamless drive on this beautiful stretch on Thursday morning as I did not have to wait at the toll plaza. We learnt about toll-free passage on TV news last evening. It has come as a great relief to commuters like me,” he said.
All the 32 toll booths were abandoned as there were no NTBCL staff to collect toll. The boom barriers were permanently lifted. There were no traffic cops at the toll plaza and vehicular movement was smooth.
JK Singh of Sector 44 Noida said, “Why should we pay toll for such a long period (toll collection started in 2001) for a facility, which should have been made free a long time ago? We appreciate the Allahabad high court for bringing relief to us and we expect the same from the Supreme Court.”
However, traffic jams were reported in the early hours on both ends of the DND Flyway.
“Around 8.30am, when I was on my way to Noida from Delhi, I got stuck in a jam near Sarai Kale Khan. I guess more commuters, who got to know about the toll-free DND drive, wanted to avail the benefit of the signal-free stretch. I found heavy congestion on the Noida side of the DND as well,” said Shalini Sood, a Delhi resident.
Confederation of NCR RWAs (Conrwa) members also surveyed the toll plaza to interact with the commuters.
“The vehicular movement between Noida and Delhi was smooth. All the commuters we spoke to were of the view that the toll must be removed,” said Chetan Sharma, secretary general, Conrwa.