Directing the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to ensure that the commuters travelling on Chandigarh-Delhi Highway face no harassment, Punjab and Haryana High Court Wednesday voiced its concern over the mismanagement in collection of toll at the Murthal toll plaza and summoned the NHAI Project Director to court on February 08.
The division bench of Justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Anupinder Singh Grewal during the resumed hearing of a plea seeking removal of the toll plaza at Bhagan in Murthal observed that the new toll plaza has resulted in “a total chaos” on the Highway. “We have seen it ourselves. Ensure that the toll plaza at Murthal is streamlined so that there is no harassment to commuters,” said the bench.
Though the counsels representing the NHAI justified the construction of the new toll plaza in Murthal and said it was well within the rules, the division bench, unconvinced with the response, summoned the record of all the three toll plazas in Murthal, Karnal and Panipat. The division bench was hearing the plea filed by RTI activist Aseem Takyar, who has said that the toll plaza established in September last year year is illegal and against an official notification issued in 2008.
“As per clause 8(1) of said notification no Toll Plaza can be established within 10 km of Muncipal or Local Town Area Limits and as per Clause 8(2), no Toll Plaza can be established within 60 km from an existing Toll Plaza,” Takyar has said, adding there are already nearby toll plazas at Gharaunda in district Karnal and also at Panipat.
Takyar has said the public at large is also facing problem of traffic jam at the toll plaza when travelling from the Delhi side. “More than 70 per cent staff is passing through the toll plaza in question to attend their work at Delhi everyday and there is huge traffic jam at this place, apart from the statutory violations to establish the toll plaza in question,” the plea reads.