NHAI set to have ‘pay per road use’ toll fee system on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway - Hindustan Times
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NHAI set to have ‘pay per road use’ toll fee system on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway

By, Gurugram
Mar 14, 2023 12:33 AM IST

An NHAI official said the tendering process has been initiated for this purpose and it is likely to be implemented in the next six months

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to introduce ”pay per road use” toll tax on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway under which it would collect a fee from commuters only for the distance they travelled on the expressway, instead of the current fixed toll rate.

NHAI officials said automatic number plate reading cameras (ANPR) will be installed on all entries/exits of the 29km long expressway, and users will be charged a toll based on the kilometres travelled. (Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)
NHAI officials said automatic number plate reading cameras (ANPR) will be installed on all entries/exits of the 29km long expressway, and users will be charged a toll based on the kilometres travelled. (Parveen Kumar/HT Photo)

Pay per use tolling system is done without the use of traditional toll booths, NHAI officials said. Also called open road tolling, this system uses automatic cameras that can identify a vehicle travelling on the highway and facilitate their toll to be collected electronically.

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NHAI officials said automatic number plate reading cameras (ANPR) will be installed on all entries/exits of the 29km long expressway, and users will be charged a toll based on the kilometres travelled.

An NHAI official said the tendering process has been initiated for this purpose and it is likely to be implemented in the next six months.

Dhruv Gupta, senior manager, NHAI, said, “Commuters will be charged toll digitally and this will be done through automatic number plate recognition cameras, which detect number plates. These cameras will be installed on all entries/exits of the expressway. Once a user enters the road, his vehicle will be detected and once he exits, the toll will be collected automatically,” he said.

Gupta said the tendering has started for executing this project but no timelines have been set and slabs for toll fees will also be decided later. “Once the use based toll system gets stabilized, the authority will take a call on removing the Kherki Daula toll plaza as users will be charged on the basis of road usage and not for entering the plaza,” he said.

The NHAI plans to use the ANPR cameras for detection of number plates and based on that toll will be collected automatically through FASTags, said officials.

The use of ANPR cameras for toll collection was announced last year by Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, who had said these would be introduced on the Dwarka Expressway soon.

Professor Sewa Ram, from the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi, said the decision to introduce digital toll collection system was welcome as it would reduce congestion and wastage of fuel besides reducing pollution. But it has to be ensured that locals residing on either side of the expressway are exempted from toll. “People moving on the expressway within the urban area should be given exemption from toll fee as this is the only major road passing through the city. If one is going to Manesar or Jaipur, (s)he may be asked to pay a toll, but if one is going from Palam Vihar to Sohna using this expressway, then (s)he should be exempted,” he said.

It may be recalled that MCEPL, the previous concessionaire, had taken over toll operations on the expressway in 2014 and its contract ended on January 11, 2023. The company was given an additional two months to collect toll, and it handed over toll operations on March 1, 2023, to another company.

On average, the highways authority collects around 50-55 lakh daily as toll tax at the Kherki Daula toll plaza, a senior official of MCEPL said. The average monthly collection at the plaza is around 15 crore, he said.

The decision of the NHAI to introduce usage based tolling is likely to cause consternation among road users as they were expecting that after the end of the concession agreement, the Kherki Daula toll plaza will be removed and the highway be made toll-free.

In fact, a delegation from the IMT Manesar Industries Association last week called upon Rajya Sabha MP Kartikeya Sharma and submitted a memorandum demanding the removal of the Kherki Daula toll plaza. “We have met the MP, and also written to the Union transport minister and the state government demanding the removal of the Kherki Daula toll plaza as it causes a lot of pollution, delays, and congestion. As the concession period is over, the toll plaza should be removed and this should have happened in January 2023 itself,” said Manoj Tyagi, general secretary, IMT Industrial Association.

Yashesh Yadav, president of Dwarka Residents Welfare Association, said thousands of residents would benefit if the Kherki Daula toll is removed. “In the interest of the people, at least the grilles on the master sector road, which is blocking access to the highway, should be removed,” he said.

A senior NHAI official, when asked about the matter, said the removal of Kherki Daula toll is likely to happen in the near future but the highways authority or the transport minister has never said toll collection on the highway will be done away with. “The toll fee is required to maintain the highway and keep it operational,” he said.

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