Free ride at Gurgaon toll plaza, freedom from traffic nightmare

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Gurgaon:  In a big relief for lakhs of commuters who use the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway daily, tax collection on the toll plaza near the Delhi-Gurgaon border was scrapped on Wednesday midnight.

The Sirhaul toll plaza was a traffic nightmare for over two lakh commuters. It sometimes witnessed jams nearly three kilometres long; commuters often took nearly an hour to cross it. (Share your experience)

The relief for commuters came following a court-backed settlement between the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), private operator Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) and lead financier IDFC.

The prolonged legal battle began after the highway authority issued a termination notice to the DGSCL last year over frequent complaints of long delays. The operator was also accused of irregularities in raising loans from financial institutions.

The tripartite agreement now says no toll or user fee shall be collected from "km 24 toll plaza and the said toll plaza shall be dismantled." The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has however been allowed to charge entry tax from commercial vehicles.

While commuters have been exempted from paying tax at the Sirhaul toll plaza, tax collection will continue at Kherki-Dhaula, the far end of the 27.7 km Expressway where to compensate for fewer vehicles, commuters will now have to pay Rs 56, double of what they are being currently charged.

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