GMDA set to transfer 30-acre land to NHAI for Kherki Daula toll shift
The Kherki Daula toll plaza in Gurugram, India, is set to be shifted to Panchgaon, as the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority plans to transfer around 30 acres of land to the National Highways Authority of India within a month. The move is expected to reduce traffic congestion and pollution on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.
The proposal to shift the Kherki Daula toll plaza to Panchgaon has finally gathered steam with the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) set to transfer around 30 acres of land to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) within a month, officials aware of the matter said on Thursday.
The development came almost six years after Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari announced at a public meeting in Badshahpur on August 14, 2017 that the Kherki Daula toll will be shifted towards Jaipur if the Haryana government provided NHAI free land for its construction.
PC Meena, chief executive officer (CEO) of GMDA, on Thursday said that the 30-acre land acquired by the Haryana state industrial and infrastructure development corporation (HSIIDC) has already been handed over to GMDA for the proposed toll plaza construction. “We will hand over the land, which is free of any encumbrances, to NHAI in the coming days as this 30-acre land has been transferred to GMDA. The shifting of the toll plaza and construction of a new toll plaza at Panchgaon will be carried out by NHAI,” said Meena.
On November 24, GMDA authorised its revenue officials to take over the 30-acre land in Panchgaon from HSIIDC, as per a letter issued by project coordinator, GMDA.
Meena said that the shifting of Kherki Daula toll plaza will drastically reduce traffic congestion, particularly on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway. “The removal of the toll plaza and opening of Dwarka expressway will help in the smooth movement of vehicles, and help commuters going to the developing sectors, Manesar and beyond,” he said, adding that it would also reduce pollution.
In May this year, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that the state government was actively working towards removal of Kherki Daula toll plaza. “I had a discussion in this regard with the Union transport minister. Paying the toll fees is not an issue with most of the people and removal of toll barriers is under active consideration,” the CM said.
When asked about the proposed handing over of the land at Panchgaon for construction of the new toll plaza, a senior NHAI official, however, said that they were not aware of the land transfer. “We are not aware of the proposed land transfer but the headquarters might be in the know,” a senior NHAI official said.
Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari also said in April this year that Kherki Daula toll plaza will be shifted once the Dwarka expressway becomes operational. He, however, had reiterated that only the toll plaza will be shifted, but tolling will continue on Dwarka expressway and Delhi-Gurgaon expressway using GPS technology.
The process to shift the Kherki Daula toll plaza was initiated in 2017, and the state government decided to shift it to Sehrawan near Manesar. The district administration thereafter proposed to transfer 65-acre land to NHAI at Sehrawan. However, the plan could not be executed after environment activists approached the National Green Tribunal (NGT) stating that the land proposed for toll plaza was forest land.
The state government in 2018 decided to allot around 50 acres land at Panchgaon and HSIIDC was given the job to acquire land for the construction of new toll plaza.
A senior GMDA official said that land acquisition by HSIIDC was also fraught with farmers’ litigation from Panchgaon who approached the Punjab and Haryana high court as they did not want to sell their land. After a protracted legal battle in which the city residents also became a party under the aegis of United Association of New Gurugram, the Punjab and Haryana high court asked the government to form a high-powered committee to resolve the issues.
“After several meeting and discussions with land owners and government officials, most of the issues were resolved and HSIIDC managed to acquire 32-acre land. But a small chunk of 0.4 acre was stuck as the owner approached the Supreme Court. GMDA in 2021 even asked NHAI to take possession of the 30 acres of land, but the highways authority was not ready to accept it as it was still under litigation. All these issues led to the delay of land acquisition. But now GMDA has been able to get the 30-acre land, which is encumbrance-free. If it is transferred soon, the toll will also be shifted soon,” said Pravin Malik, president of United Association of New Gurugram.
Panchgaon residents, meanwhile, said that state government needs to pay interest on compensation to land owners, construct an underpass and shift toll plaza towards Bilaspur as the land along the highway has been acquired by HSIIDC.
Mahinder Singh, a resident of Panchgaon, said that they will fight against the construction of the toll plaza at this location as it will impact the local residents. “Some of the legal battles with regard to land acquisition are still in court. We have asked the government to construct an underpass at Jamalpur for local residents. Unless it is constructed, we will continue to oppose the toll plaza,” he said.