Gurgaon: While both the state and central governments have vowed to shift the Kherki Daula toll plaza out of the city’s urban limits, a long-pending demand of residents who are protesting against what they call an irrational road tax, people may actually have to pay more soon.
The agency managing the expressway has recently written to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), seeking a revision of toll from April 1. If approved, private cars may have to pay Rs 5 more for each trip and the cost of monthly passes may shoot up by Rs 25-30. NHAI officials said they had forwarded the proposal to the technical committee for approval.
The concessionaire argued they had little option but to ask for the revision because the cost of managing the expressway had increased substantially because of the rising inflation. In the last three years, the toll hasn’t been revised for private cars even once, they pointed out.
Currently, drivers of truck, buses and multi-axle vehicles have to pay Rs 185 as toll, which could be revised to Rs 190 in case the NHAI gives its approval. Similarly, the cost of monthly passes for 40 trips would increase by Rs 25 for private cars, Rs 35 for commercial vehicles and Rs 80 for buses, trucks and multi-axle vehicles. According to NHAI records, around 75,000 vehicles cross the toll plaza daily, of which, around 25,000 are commercial ones.
“The rates are usually revised every year, based on the wholesale price index (WPI). We will examine the agency’s proposal and only after a final notification from the authority, we will take a decision on whether to revise the toll,” said an NHAI official.
Residents of the new sectors and the industrial town of Manesar, who have little choice but to take the expressway, voiced displeasure on the proposal to hike the toll. “For the past six years, residents of more than 40 housing societies in the new sectors have been demanding that the Kherki Daula toll plaza be shifted. We have even submitted a memorandum to deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala so that there is relief from paying tax here,” said Yashesh Yadav, president of the Dwarka Expressway Association.
Navdeep Singh, a resident of Sector 82, said, “The toll has become a major cause for concern among the residents of the newly developed sectors from 79 to 113. We all have one grouse — paying road tax every time we step out of home. Instead of removing the structure, the authorities are now planning to increase the toll.”
In January 2019, the residents had submitted a petition in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
In October that year, the high court had allowed the acquisition of 50 acres in Pachgaon for the toll plaza to be shifted. While a committee was formed for shifting the toll, things are moving at a snail’s pace.