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Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway goes toll free,Delhi MC to move SC

Upset over losing out on toll tax from commercial vehicles after the Punjab and Haryana High Court restrained collection of toll on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway,the South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday decided to approach the Supreme Court against the order.

Upset over losing out on toll tax from commercial vehicles after the Punjab and Haryana High Court restrained collection of toll on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway,the South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday decided to approach the Supreme Court against the order.

The High Court on Tuesday prohibited the Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited,the expressway concessionaire,from collecting toll for 15 days for its failure to decongest the 32-lane Sirhaul toll plaza near Ambience Mall.

The order also covers the five-lane toll plaza on the road to Terminal 3 of IGI Airport and the 16-lane toll gate at Kherki Daula,18 km after the Delhi-Gurgaon toll plaza.

A South Municipal Corporation official said: “The concessionaire collects two types of toll tax at these booths. Toll from private vehicles goes to the concessionaire,while the tax from the commercial vehicles is transferred to the civic agency. If the court doesn’t give us reprieve to collect taxes from commercial vehicles,we are likely to face losses running into several crores of rupees.”

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Under the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act,the concessionaire is empowered to collect toll on behalf of the civic agency. “The concessionaire is contractually bound to collect tax from commercial vehicles and transfer this amount to the civic body. We need protection on this issue from the apex court,” the official said.

“We will file a petition before the Supreme Court on Thursday,” he said.

On Wednesday,traffic movement was exceptionally smooth on the expressway after some hiccups and a snarl at Sirhaul toll plaza in the morning. Many commuters,who didn’t know about the High Court order,stopped at the tollgates and were confused when they couldn’t find any toll collector in the booths. This confusion led to a traffic snarl.

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Traffic policemen alleged that the concessionaire had switched on the red lights on the tollgate in the morning,which added to the chaos.

After that,more than 100 traffic policemen were deployed in and around the tollgates and the concessionaire pasted posters proclaiming that no toll could be collected.

A DGSCL spokesperson said: “The boom barriers in all the lanes were removed and posters mentioning ‘Free’ were put on all lanes. The traffic lights which were initially set to red for safety were deactivated before the peak hours.”

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DGSCL officials said toll was not collected only at Sirhaul plaza,which gets around 1.9 lakh vehicles daily. The total collection used to be Rs 55 to Rs 60 lakh per day,sources said.

The officials said the Kherki Dhaula toll plaza operated normally,“since the court order was restricted to only Sirhaul”.

First published on: 06-09-2012 at 03:46:10 am
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