Delhi

Kherki Daula toll plaza traffic shifts to alternative route due to congestion

Motorists heading towards Delhi on NH-48 take right turn before Kherki Daula toll plaza to go to the new road through Sector 77.

Motorists heading towards Delhi on NH-48 take right turn before Kherki Daula toll plaza to go to the new road through Sector 77.   | Photo Credit: Ashok Kumar

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Heavy traffic diversion is causing revenue loss to company, which will be claimed from agency responsible for construction of new road, says toll operation manager

In the wake of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways order for dedicated FASTag lanes at all National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) tolls from December 15 last year, a sizeable chunk of traffic at Kherki Daula toll plaza here has shifted to an alternative road connecting the Southern Peripheral Expressway to the Delhi-Jaipur Highway, opposite Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Though the 5-km road passing through Sector 77 has been in use for the past six months, the traffic has suddenly increased on this stretch over the past few weeks due to congestion and long waiting time at the toll plaza. The commuters also save the toll fees into the bargain.

Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL) toll operation assistant manager Mohammad Sohrab Khan told The Hindu that the traffic at the toll has gone drastically down from 80,000 vehicles per day earlier to around 65,000. He said the heavy traffic mostly had diverted to the new route, causing revenue loss to the company.

Legal aspects

He said the MCEPL was looking into the legal aspects of the matter since the agreement did not allow construction of an alternative road within 2-3 km of the toll plaza. Losses incurred would be claimed from the agency responsible for the construction of the road, he added.

Ajit Singh, a vendor, said the traffic had increased 20-30% over the past few weeks and traffic snarls were seen in the evening at the T-point connecting the road to the Delhi-Jaipur Highway service road. “Suddenly the road has become busy. More private and commercial vehicles have started plying on the stretch,” he said.

The traffic on the Jaipur-Delhi carriageway of the highway — mostly private vehicles from group housing societies along the Dwarka Expressway — take right from the U-turn cut, about 400 m before the toll plaza, blocking the traffic on the adjoining carriageway to reach the service road on the opposite side. The motorists then drive another 200 m on the service road to turn left on the road connecting to the SPR.

Though the statistics for December indicate an increase of around 20% in FASTag users in a month’s time, Mr. Khan said, still 50% of the users paid through cash and there was not much improvement in the traffic situation at the toll. “The real picture would emerge in the second week of January after the automotive companies open again after the routine shutdown and the regular commuters to IMT Manesar return to work,” said Mr. Khan.

He said there was also a possibility of FASTag users going back to the cash payment mode and it was, thus, at a meeting with the NHAI officials, a decision to begin charging penalty from the cash users entering the FASTag lanes was taken. “Since the tag users may find it inconvenient to frequently recharge their tags and most are not comfortable using technology, they might go back to cash payment mode if we do not penalise the cash users,” said Mr. Khan.

Though eight lanes on Jaipur-Delhi carriageway and 11 lanes on Delhi-Jaipur carriageway were declared as dedicated FASTag lanes on December 15, all the toll lanes, except one on each side, would be operated as FASTag lanes from January 15. The trial for one only-cash lane on each side, i.e. Lane No.22 (heading to Delhi) and Lane no.28 (heading to Jaipur), will start on January 8.

“All the users under the exemption category will be allowed free passage on the production of a valid document to authenticate their exemption. However, they are also advised to get the exempted tag fitted on their vehicle as per the standard operation procedure of MoRTH,” said NHAI Project Director (Gurugram) Ashok Sharma.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 8:03:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/kherki-daula-toll-plaza-traffic-shifts-to-alternative-route-due-to-congestion/article30507406.ece

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