It has been a year since the Sarhaul toll plaza on the Delhi-Gurgaon border was removed to allow traffic to flow freely on NH 8. But the costly move does not seem to have eased the chronic snarls.
Now, sources said on Tuesday that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has written to the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, asking it to explain the “mismanagement at the toll booths” that has been leading to massive traffic jams on the Gurgaon-Delhi side.
If the South corporation is not able to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, the commercial toll operators will have to pay a penalty. sources said.
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“There have been complaints regarding the functioning of toll operators on Delhi side of the expressway, looked after by the MCD. Mismanagement by the untrained collectors adds to the traffic problems,” a senior NHAI official said.
Last week, the highway administration court had directed SMYR Consortium — the MCD-appointed contractor — to use only six lanes on the extreme left for collection of toll tax.
The highway court also directed the contractors to leave four more lanes out of the 16 to divert traffic.
The highway concessionaire, Millennium City Expressways, had filed a petition last month in the highway administration court, in which it said that the toll collector deploys men on some of the right-side lanes (Gurgaon to Delhi) to collect toll in an unmanaged way, leading to uncontrolled traffic.
“In the court’s interim orders, the MCD contractors have been asked to use the six lanes on the extreme left of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway to collect toll and four more lanes to divert traffic. The remaining six lanes on the extreme right are meant to allow traffic to go straight to the flyover,” Millennium chief executive S Raghuraman said.
The final order on this matter is expected on June 26.
Sources said toll collectors deploy men on these six lanes on the extreme right to nab drivers of commercial vehicles who use these lanes as a escape route. “This problem was brought to our notice but DMC has been told that if drivers flee without paying toll, the corporation should approach Delhi Police”, the NHAI official said.