Each morning, as commuters cross the border from Delhi into Gurgaon, their journey is significantly delayed by the haphazard parking of several cabs by the side of the road, whose drivers deboard the vehicles to stand in lines to pay toll tax at a single booth, built under the shade of some trees.
While drivers of four seater cars have to pay Rs 100, those of seven seater cars have to pay Rs 500. As drivers queue up in two lines, their passengers remain seated in the vehicles, or walk around restlessly. Some get impatient and eventually choose to abandon their rides, and instead take autorickshaws to their destinations.
For example, when Ganit Choudhary, a driver with a prominent cab aggregator, accepted a ride from Delhi’s Pitampura to Gurgaon’s Cyber City on Wednesday morning, little did he know he would be paying Rs 100 for the trip out of his own pocket.
“The passenger came up till here but when he discovered he will have to wait for 30 to 40 minutes till I pay the toll tax, he chose to end the ride and walk to Cyber City. He said he would try to get an auto somewhere ahead instead. As a result, I have to pay the toll tax from my own pocket,” said Choudhary.
The Regional Transport Authority (RTA) recently scrapped the system wherein drivers could pay Rs 950 every three months, and enforced another system where they have to pay the Rs 100 or Rs 500 each time they cross the border.
Another taxi driver, on condition of anonymity, said, “The problems for us are many, but if nothing else, they should think of the problems our passengers face… A few days ago, one of my passengers, a student, was using my cab to go for an examination. However, because of this toll tax, she reached the centre late and was almost in tears by that time.”
Despite repeated attempts, officials from the RTA could not be contacted for a comment.