In yet another protest demanding that the Delhi Noida Direct (DND) Flyway be made toll-free, residents of Noida on Saturday lifted the boom barriers for about 40 minutes and allowed vehicles to pass without paying the toll.
A group of residents, under the banner of a city-based NGO Maulik Bharat, gathered at the toll plaza and protested for nearly an hour despite the presence of policemen.
The police, however, said the road was made toll-free for only nearly 20 minutes.
“The situation was brought under control. The boom barriers were lifted for hardly 15 to 20 minutes. Thereafter, we did not allow them to block the traffic,” said Amaranath Yadav, SHO Sector 20, adding that the traffic was not disturbed.
The protesters showed banners and shouted slogans against the DND management.
“The boom barriers were lifted by the protesters for over 40 minutes. Nearly 40,000 vehicles passed through in that period. The loss amounts to nearly Rs 1.10 lakh. This is the fourth or fifth time that boom barriers were lifted forcibly by protesters demonstrating under different banners,” said a DND management spokesperson.
Before reaching the DND toll plaza, the protesters had gathered at Sector 29 and held streetplays for more than an hour.
“We just wanted to give a message to the DND management that commuters are unhappy and they want the toll to go. Our protest was symbolic. If the Noida administration does not take necessary action, we will go for more an aggressive protest after a couple of months,” said Captain Vikas Gupta, president of Maulik Bharat.
Maulik Bharat had held a protest at the DND Flyway on April 16 as well. Then they lifted the boom barriers for over half an hour.
The Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL) is managing the DND toll. It entered into an agreement with the Uttar Pradesh government through the Noida authority in 1997 for a period of 30 years. Noida residents have been demanding scrapping of the agreement for the past three years, especially after the removal of Sirhaul toll plaza in Gurgaon.
NTBCL spokesperson said, “The matter is already heard by the Allahabad high court and also in Delhi. The NTBCL runs the toll plaza as per the agreement. So, there should be no protest to lift boom barriers.”