Bench indicates stay on toll collection may be extended
Unimpressed with the measures taken by the concessionaire to decongest the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway,the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday told the operator to do something viable.
During the resumed hearing of a petition filed by the Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL),a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain told the counsel for the concessionaire that the bench is not satisfied with the steps taken.
Referring to news reports,the bench remarked that if it is not satisfied with the action taken by the concessionaire,it may well extend the stay on collection of toll.
Taking the plea that the South Delhi municipal corporation had filed a contempt petition against it for not depositing the commercial vehicle toll,the concessionaire had filed an application seeking vacation of the stay order. But the bench remarked that plea was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Declining to vacate the stay,the High Court adjourned the case to September 20.
On September 4,the High Court,annoyed over the traffic mess on the expressway and the failure of the concessionaire to provide relief to motorists,ordered a stay on collection of toll for 15 days.
On Wednesday,the stakeholders had a meeting with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) where measures were suggested to decongest the expressway.
Steps such as introduction of split-toll plazas,increasing the number of tag users,touch-and-go cards were discussed. But no final call was taken and it was decided to hold more meetings to arrive at a consensus.
Among issues discussed was the need to discipline lane users. The DGSCL said many who pay toll in cash often enter lanes designated for tag users,slowing down traffic. If more traffic personnel were stationed at the toll plaza,such offenders could be fined immediately,the operator said. Sealing a few entry points to the expressway to reduce congestion was also an option,an official said.
A DGSCL official said one of the measures which could help decongest the expressway would be the introduction of split-toll plazas. Under this system,some lanes would be kept free and temporary toll booths would be set up further down the lanes to smoothen traffic flow. The official said experiments with the split-toll method were quite successful.
The NHAI is learnt to have suggested the introduction of touch-and-go cards to bring down stoppage time at toll booths.