The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is working on a pilot project to do away with toll plazas on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway and Dwarka Expressway, as part of a nationwide exercise, officials familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
NHAI officials cited an announcement made by union transport minister Nitin Gadkari in Parliament a few days ago, in which he said that toll plazas across the country would be removed by next year.
Officials, however, clarified that the removal of toll plazas would not signal the end of toll collection. “The toll plazas would be removed but a new gantry-based model is likely to be introduced, which will make it easier for toll collection through FASTags. Toll plazas, no doubt, lead to some congestion and a pilot project on closed-loop tolling on these roads is underway,” said Shashi Bhushan, project director, NHAI.
Sharing details of other projects in the meeting, NHAI officials said that the U-turn at Sirhaul border will be opened on May 1, while land for shifting toll plaza is under consideration.
With the opening of the U-turn at Sirhaul toll plaza, commuters from Gurugram need not travel to Rajokri in Delhi for reaching Ambience Mall and DLF Phase-3 from Udyog Vihar.
A statement issued by the district administration on Wednesday said that highway officials also posited that a toll plaza might not be needed at Panchgaon if the pilot project on expressways is successful.
NHAI officials said they are also setting up various public amenities, including the construction of toilets near pedestrian bridges along the NH-48 from Daula Kuan in Delhi to Hero Honda Chowk, lifts for easy movement and commercial constructions to encourage people to use pedestrian bridges.
The road safety meeting was held under the chairmanship of deputy commissioner Yash Garg, who asked the NHAI and all stakeholders to work in tandem and ensure better facilities for road users, particularly pedestrians.
The removal of the Kherki Daula toll plaza has been a longstanding demand of city residents and industry owners in Manesar, as heavy congestion leads to long delays for commuters and also causes pollution due to increased emissions.