With doubled up toll rates, factory owners in the Industrial Model Township in Manesar are opposing the toll plaza as "anti-industry"
Less than a fortnight after the KM-24 toll plaza, popularly known as the Sirhaul toll plaza, was removed following an agreement between the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), IDFC and Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd. (DGSCL) to the relief of the commuters, voices demanding the removal of the KM-42 toll plaza at Kherki Dhaula here are growing louder with each passing day .
Since toll rates have doubled at Kherki Dhaula, the lone toll collection point on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway following the removal of the Sirhaul toll plaza, factory owners in the Industrial Model Township (IMT) in Manesar are opposing the toll plaza as “anti-industry”.
Several citizens groups have also come forward seeking removal of the toll plaza on account of the hardships faced by commuters and lack of facilities.
Talking about the enormous increase in the toll rates — cars now have to pay Rs.56 instead of Rs.27 — Manesar Industries’ Welfare Association (MIWA) general-secretary Manmohan Gaind said: “Industrialists have played an important role in the growth of Haryana. But the incumbent government and the NHAI are determined to ruin the growth of industry. Already we are facing a staff crunch. This increase in toll rates will further compel employees to stay away from this part of the city.”
MIWA representatives said the basic principle of collecting toll was to provide hassle-free connectivity, but travelling through this plaza has become a nightmare for commuters due to long traffic snarls during rush hour and an average waiting time of 15-20 minutes.
Demanding that industry be compensated for the loss of fuel and time at the plaza, MIWA representatives said the toll was a big hurdle in the development of IMT Manesar.
The Toll Sangarsh Samiti, which had carried out a campaign against the Sirhaul toll earlier, held a meeting over the weekend to discuss the situation arising out of an increase in toll rates and traffic chaos.
“It is unethical to charge exorbitant toll rates from Gurgaon residents, who use only a small section of the expressway. Also, the NHAI and the concessionaire only seem interested in making money and are least bothered about the facilities for commuters,” said Samiti vice-president R.S. Rathee.
“What about the underpasses, over-bridges, pedestrian and cattle crossings, storm water drainage systems and pedestrian guard rails? All these facilities should be put in place to attain a minimum speed of 85 km/hr and the desirable speed of 120 km/hr for which the highway is made and the toll collected,” he argued.