The Delhi-Jaipur Expressway concessionaire, Millenium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL), has written to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the state government to extend its agreement period, which ends in 2023, for five more years.
According to S Raghuraman, CEO of MCEPL, the concessionaire has been incurring a loss of about Rs 7 lakh per day. “Two major reasons have contributed to this loss. The first is that exemption tags have been issued to those people living in 31 villages near Kherki Daula toll plaza. The second is that we have many toll defaulters every day, which contributes to the loss,” Raghuraman said. According to official data, around 8,000 tags have been issued to local villagers free of cost.
Also, MCEPL sources said 3.75 lakh vehicles enter Gurgaon every day. “However, only 75 lakh vehicles are ‘tollable’ out of which 20 per cent are exempted. In addition, revenue collection has fallen drastically after the Sirhaul toll plaza was shut last year,” he said.
MCEPL — which signed a MoU with NHAI and the state government a year ago — said it needed more time to recover the total loan amount of Rs 1,600 crore that was lent to it by a consortium of five banks to finance the e-way project. “Presently, the Kherki Daula toll plaza collects only Rs 45 lakh per day as opposed to Rs 1 crore per day that was being collected till February last year,” Raghuraman said.
Sources said the agreement extension proposal is being reviewed by a private consultant under NHAI, which is likely to submit a report by the last week of June.
Meanwhile, in order to decongest traffic at the Kherki Daula toll — which marks the end of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway — MCEPL is planning to build staggered toll plazas with five lanes on either sides of the existing 23-lane toll.
“On the Jaipur-Delhi side, a topography survey has already been completed after acquiring land to create the additional five lanes. The project will begin soon. However, we are waiting for land clearances on the Delhi side. A proposal has been sent to NHAI,” Raghuraman said. The construction of these plazas is likely to begin by July-end.
Also, sources said, once the Sirhaul toll plaza is completely dismantled by July-end, MCEPL is planning to build an elevated foot-over bridge and a u-turn.