Connecting roads could help commuters bypass Kherki Daula without paying a toll.
In a blow to residents of new Gurugram, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is unlikely to sanction the connectivity of alternative routes up to and beyond Kherki Daula, as the toll plaza is yet to be shifted.
NHAI officials said the Northern Peripheral Road (NPR), access to which is presently blocked and the Southern Peripheral Road (SPR) can be connected only through a cloverleaf junction that will be built soon on Central Peripheral Road (CPR).
Officials of the Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP), the local administrative agency, had opened an alternative route, connecting the SPR to the National Highway-48 (NH-48). However, this route is also likely to be shut unless the authority gets the permission of the NHAI.
The five-kilometre road, starting from SPR was connected with NH-48 two weeks earlier by HSVP, but the NHAI officials objected to it.
On Saturday, HSVP sought permission from the NHAI to connect these roads but the Millennium City Expressway Pvt Ltd, the concessionaire for the Delhi Gurgaon Expressway objected to it. The new roads, both the SPR and NPR, will help the residents of new and developing sectors, particularly beyond the toll plaza, avoid the congestion and jams on the highway.
NHAI on Monday made it clear that it is not possible to allow the removal of the NPR wall as it would violate the concessionaire agreement and state-support agreement with the MCEPL, which has the contract for toll collection till 2023.
“It would be in violation of the contract to allow the NPR’S connection to the Delhi-gurgaon Expressway. The NPR and SPR can only be connected through a cloverleaf junction and it will be built on the CPR by the NHAI. Also, the movement of traffic towards Kherki Daula toll would be made possible through a trumpet junction,” said Ashok Sharma, project director, NHAI.
Sharma also said that while the issue of NPR connectivity is under his jurisdiction, the access to an alternative road beyond Kherki Daula toll plaza will be decided upon by the NHAI officials in Jaipur.
Officials of the Pink City Expressway Ltd, which is the concessionaire for Gurgaon-jaipur highway, had raised an objection to the HSVP’S move to connect an internal road with the NH-48 without their permission. “We have asked the authority to seek NHAI’S permission for connecting this road,” said Anil Kumar, route supervisor.
NN Giri, project director, NHAI, Jaipur, said that the regulations have to be followed while connecting a road to a highway, as it could lead to a loss of revenue to the concessionaire. “The permission to connect the road is a policy-level decision to be taken at a higher level. We have a set of rules that we have to follow and on these parameters, this road can’t be allowed,” he added.
The HSVP officials, meanwhile, said that they have sought permission from the NHAI to connect the NPR and also the also the alternative road connecting the SPR with the NH-48. “These roads will ensure great improvement in traffic movement, once these become operational. The concerns of the highway concessionaire would also be addressed once the NHAI replies to us,” said Chander Shekhar Khare, HSVP administrator.
The congestion on the and jams at the toll have forced the residents of newly developed sectors to seek relief. Last Friday, a group of residents had held a sit-in demanding shifting of the toll plaza and fast completion of the Dwarka Expressway.
“The residents are suffering due to the toll plaza and opening this road has been helpful for commuters. The shifting of the toll plaza is also stuck as a landowner has filed a court case against the acquisition of land in Panchgaon, where it is to be shifted. In fact, we have been asked to become a party in that case as the affected persons. That is a different issue. At present, we want the NHAI to allow increased connectivity,” said Pravin Malik, a functionary of the United Association of new Gurugram.
All stakeholders agree that the only viable solution is to shift the Kherki Daula toll plaza, which has been hanging fire since last one year. Although the Haryana government has reiterated that it would shift it by March 31, it is likely to be delayed due to difficulties in land acquisition.
Source : HT