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Khattar hints at govt scrapping Kherki Daula toll altogether

Says the plaza would be shifted to Sehrawan if the concessionaire, MCEPL, does not agree to scrapping the toll. However, the CM did not elaborate either of the options

gurgaon Updated: Jan 22, 2018 22:45 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times
Kherki Daula,CM Haryana,NHAI
(From right) Mayor Madhu Azad and Union minister Mansukh L Mandaviya look on as chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurates the underpass at Signature Tower on Monday.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Weeks after announcing that the state government has handed land in Sehrawan to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) for shifting the Kherki Daula toll, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, on Monday, said the government is holding talks with the concessionaire to scrap the toll altogether.

Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL) is the concessionaire maintaining the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, including the Kherki Daula toll plaza.

“The toll can be scrapped forever. The plan to shift the toll plaza is also underway as we have provided 65 acres to the NHAI to set up a new toll plaza at Sehrawan. Our aim is to bring relief to residents and a permanent solution to the traffic problems,” Khattar said after inaugurating the underpasses at Signature Tower and Rajiv Chowk.

Khattar added that there is no hurdle in transferring the panchayat land to the MCEPL on part of the Haryana government, and that the panchayat has agreed to transfer the land.

However, the CM did not elaborate on the plan to scrap the toll, nor did he give any deadline for shifting the plaza.

Monday’s announcement comes almost a month after Khattar had announced handing over 65 acres land for shifting the Kherki Daula toll plaza which is a major traffic bottleneck.

Shifting the toll has been a long-standing demand of industry owners at Manesar and residents as the area suffers daily jams on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway with long lines of vehicles on either sides of the toll plaza.

The government’s been trying to shift the toll plaza or scrap the toll altogether for a year now. The plan gained momentum after Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari announced, in August 2017, a slew of plans to decongest Delhi and Gurgaon. One among those measures was shifting the Kherki Daula toll plaza “within three months”

The announcement comes as the state government struggles to shift the plaza due to multiple objections raised by various stakeholders.

To begin with, the state would have to find a way to compensate the concessionaire for the loss it would bear by shifting the toll plaza to low-revenue Sehrawan; the move would cost MCEPL 40% of the revenue generated at Kherki Daula, i.e., ₹40 lakh per day.

Then there is the cost of shifting the toll, which by some estimates is ₹2,000 crore.

Among the other major hurdles in shifting the toll plaza is getting the panchayat to part with the land. The state government claims, there are “no problems” vis-à-vis the land acquisition. But, the Manesar panchayat has emphasized time and again that 59 of the 65 acres needed are in its possession.

“Till date, we have not received any communication from the state government about our land being transferred to the NHAI,” said a panchayat member requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, the NHAI is also waiting transfer of land at Sehrawan so it can allocate the same to the concessionaire for setting up the new toll plaza. “We are yet to get the land in Sehrawan,” NHAI chairman Deepak Kumar said.

First Published: Jan 22, 2018 22:44 IST