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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Residents to file PIL for the removal of Kherki Daula toll plaza, threaten to boycott polls

cities Updated: Sep 27, 2019 23:55 IST
Rohit David
Rohit David

Residents of the newly developed sectors of Gurugram (sectors 79- 113) are planning to file public interest litigation (PIL) with the Punjab and Haryana High Court regarding the removal of Kherki Daula toll plaza. On Friday, they also threatened to boycott the upcoming Haryana assembly elections if the toll plaza was not removed.

Yashesh Yadav, president, Dwarka Expressway Welfare Association (DXPWA), said, “For the past five years, we have been asking for the removal of the toll plaza. Our demand is that authorities should allow residents of the city having cars with HR26 number plates cross the toll plaza without paying the toll.” There are approximately 25,000-30,000 residents who live beyond the toll plaza. “We are also thinking of not casting our vote if this toll is not removed,” added Yadav while speaking to the media on Friday.

Residents said they have to stand for 20 minutes every day just to cross the toll plaza. Pradip Rahi, a resident of Sector 83, said, “Not a single day has gone by when we have not stood in queues for more 20 minutes. If this toll is removed it will save us a lot of our time. Moreover, standing in the queue means that commuters are inhaling toxic fumes from vehicles that can result in cancer. No one is highlighting this aspect of the toll plaza.”

Commuters are also of the opinion that using the Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) and the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) as alternatives routes is not an effective solution. Bajrang Jain, a resident of Sector 104, said, “Very few residents of the new sectors use these alternative roads. Why would we travel an extra 12km just to cross the toll plaza by using the NPR and the SPR?”

According to a survey conducted by the Millennium City Expressway Private Limited(MCEPL), the concessionaire for the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, last year, around 80,000 vehicles cross the Kherki-Daula toll plaza and the earnings from the plaza amount to ₹40 lakh per day. The MCEPL has completely refuted the claims made by the residents. S Raghuraman, CEO, MCEPL, says, “The company has a right to collect toll till 2023. The amount collected at the toll plaza is also spent on maintaining the Expressway, starting from Rao Tula Ram Marg till Kherki Daula. We will not go until our stipulated time is over.”

The National Highways Authority of India(NHAI) wants the Kherki Daula toll plaza to be shifted to Panchgaon and the Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation(HSIIDC) is working on acquiring around 40 acres of land so that it can be handed over to the highways authority for this purpose. The land where the new toll plaza is to be constructed is currently under litigation. In 2014, a suit was filed with the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which stated that the 1,128-acre land in Panchgaon, which includes the land for the new toll plaza, is agricultural land and should not be handed over to the development authorities. The next date of hearing, in this case, is October 16, 2019. Ashok Sharma, NHAI project director, Gurugram, said: “I cannot say anything; HSIIDC has not been able to transfer the land to the NHAI.”

Meanwhile, the district administration has clearly said that no new announcement can be made before the elections when it comes to the Kherki Daula toll plaza. Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner, Gurugram, said, “There are some issues relating to land that are pending. The shifting of the toll plaza is being dealt with by the government. No new announcement can be made during the elections.”

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 23:55 IST

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