Providing major relief from congestion to lakhs of commuters who use the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to a settlement between its three stake-holders to dismantle the existing toll plaza at 24 km milestone in Sihaul village which was the raison d’etre for traffic snarls and congestion on this important link between the two cities.
The High Court has allowed the parties to levy toll 18 kilometres ahead at the Kherki Daula village plaza.
As for collection of toll from commercial vehicles entering Delhi from the Gurgaon side, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has allowed the South Delhi Municipal Corporation to retain four of the 16 lanes for the purpose on the Delhi side.
The civic body will make its own arrangements and set up infrastructure to collect toll. The matter reached the High Court when concessionaire Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) filed a petition seeking a stay on a show-cause notice issued by the NHAI for terminating the concession agreement. Later, the Authority had also issued a termination letter to concessionaire.
However, the disputes between the NHAI, IDFC Ltd. and DGSC were resolved to their satisfaction and for the benefit of commuters during the pendency of the matter in the Court.
Later, the three parties filed a copy of the agreement in the Court seeking its approval and disposal of the matter. The High Court order came on this plea.
Accepting the settlement, Justice Manmohan Singh said: “In view of the above said facts and circumstances, after hearing, this Court is inclined to accept the settlement arrived between the three parties, namely, National Highways Authority of India, IDFC Ltd. and M/s Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited.’’
The toll expressway was inaugurated in 2008. However, months later traffic jams became a regular feature at the 32-lane plaza.