The concessionaire that operates the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway is confident that the toll plaza at Sirhaul won't become a traffic bottleneck during Monday's rush hour.
The Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL) said it had taken several measures to unlock the gridlock at the toll collection gates at Sirhaul. The assurance came a day after it came in for severe criticism as snarls returned to Sirhaul, also known as the KM 24 toll plaza.
Tailgates were back on Friday evening as the DGSCL started collecting toll once again after over a fortnight, when motorists were not charged in line with a court order.
But the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while ordering reintroduction of toll tax from Friday, said private vehicles would be exempted from paying toll between 8.30 am and 10 am, and again between 5.30 pm and 7 pm.
DGSCL blamed Friday's gridlock on ignorance on the part of motorists that they would be charged after 7pm.
"Many people were not aware of the court order and started arguing with our staff as tolling operations resumed," a DGSCL spokesperson said.
The concessionaire also blamed Gurgaon's traffic police and the Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) for not doing enough to deal with the traffic mess.
TOLL STORY CUT SHORT
September 4-20: Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd ordered by court not to charge any toll for this period
September 25: Date till which toll-free drive was later extended
September 28: Toll reintroduced. But private vehicles exempted from paying toll between 8.30 am and 10 am and 5.30 pm and 7 pm
October 3: Next hearing in case
"On Friday, there was no adequate police force at the toll plaza to deal with violators. Besides, many commercial vehicles queued up in the lanes occupied by private motorists hoping for a free passage, resulting in chaos," the spokesperson said.
"We have urged top police officials of the district to deploy extra personnel at the toll gates to help in smooth traffic flow," he added.
"We have taken several initiatives to ensure smooth traffic flow on the expressway. We have added 21 additional lanes on the Udyog Vihar exit. For better traffic management, we have deployed 50 more employees at the KM 24 toll plaza," the official said.
With DGSCL saying it is ready with new measures, the concessionaire, already under severe criticism, could be put to the test on Monday.
The Gurgaon police, however, said the DGSCL was ill-prepared and asked it to install better-quality cameras, which can click pictures of traffic violators so that they can challan those vehicles.
"We cannot stop motorists and challan them at the toll plaza. The DGSCL officials are totally confused and now they are blaming the traffic police," said Ravindra Tomar ACP (traffic, Gurgaon).
"We will definitely be going to deploy additional police forces but we want to assess the situation first," Tomar assured.
Cabs run by call centres, BPOs, corporate offices and industrial plants situated at Udyog Vihar and Cyber City (DLF Phase-3) are joining the lanes of personal vehicles to avoid paying toll charged from commercial vehicles.
According to DGSCL, the drivers of these cabs are behind the recent gridlocks. "They want to take advantage of the free ride during peak hours. They deliberately infiltrate the tag-andcash lane," an official said.
All the vehicles had been enjoying free passage through the toll plaza since September 4.
The court later permitted the DGSCL to levy toll tax on commercial vehicles from September 25. It also appointed former chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mukul Mudgal, as the local commissioner to look into the measures taken by the DGSCL to ease the congestion.Courtesy: Mail Today