Borivli man dies in E-way mishap

October 25, 2013


MUMBAI: A 45-year-old man was killed and three others, including a five-year-old boy, sustained severe injuries after the car they were travelling in fell off a bridge at Kiwale near Dehu Road on the Mumbai-Pune expressway on Wednesday night.
The deceased has been identified as Amarnath Mahadev Kalekar, a Borivli resident. The injured include Amarnath’s brother Jagannath (40), his wife Manju (35) and their son Gaurav (5). Investigating officer P P Ahivale said the accident took place around 10 pm.

The Kalekars were heading towards Solapur, the police said. “Amarnath was driving the car,” Ahivale added.

He said when the car approached the bridge, one of its front tyres burst. “It was travelling at speed and Amarnath could not control it,” Ahivale said, adding, “The car turned turtle and fell from the bridge.”

The impact killed Amarnath on the spot. “A police team rushed to the spot and rescued the injured and rushed them to a hospital,” he said.

The Dehu Road police have registered a case of accidental death.



Gurgaon expressway snarls causes concern, says Canon CEO

October 15, 2013

Gurgaon,  — Canon India president and CEO Kazutada Kobayashi Monday termed the regular traffic snarls on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway a “cause of concern” and the poor infrastructure here a scar on millennium city’s developing face.

“Traffic problems on National Highway 8 (Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway), specially near toll plazas, are a cause of concern,” said Kobayashi, who has been living in Gurgaon for more than a decade since the company set up its Indian headquarters in the city in 1997.

“I was caught in long traffic jams at several occasions,” he said, adding he keeps a time margin when he heads for the airport to avoid missing his flights.

Noting that Gurgaon has rapidly emerged on the world map, Kobayashi said its dynamic growth and fast becoming a growing hub of MNCs deserves appreciation but its poor infrastructure and lack of maintained roads was the “dark side of the story”.

Speaking on Canon’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, he said that enrolment of girl children in senior classes in Ferozepur Namak village in Mewat district, some 35 km from Gurgaon, increased by 45 percent from last year after Canon adopted the government school in the village.

The number of teachers at the school also increased from nine to 44.

Canon undertook the responsibility of developing the village infrastructure in November 2012 to provide seamless support to its inhabitants with core interventions in eye care, education and environment for a period of three years.

Other CSR projects undertaken by the company include adoption of three Rapid Metro stations for creating a green belt around them in Gurgaon and a photo exchange programme between Canon India and Canon China wherein kids in the adopted villages in both countries click pictures with Canon cameras and share them across boundaries with each other.

Canon India now plans to initiate its village adoption programm


NHAI asked to sort out Delhi-Gurgaon expressway project issue on its own

September 27, 2013


The road transport and highways ministry has directed the NHAI to sort out the buy-back of the contentious Delhi-Gurgaon expressway project.

(The road transport and highways ministry has directed the NHAI to sort out the buy-back of the contentious Delhi-Gurgaon expressway project.)

NEW DELHI: In a sharp rebuke to the highways authority, the road transport and highways ministry has directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to sort out the buy-back of the contentious Delhi-Gurgaon expresswayproject through the legal process on its own instead of involving the government in a contractual dispute.”It is now for the NHAI to pursue the matter through the legal process as buying back the concession is the first step before other options can be examined,” said a letter sent by the ministry on Thursday to NHAI chairman RP Singh.

The ministry sent the letter, a copy of which was reviewed by ET, after the authority recently wrote to the government asking it to buy back the concession instead of getting into litigation.

Suspecting criminal liability on part of the concessionaire, the ministry has also requested the Central Vigilance Committee to investigate and refer the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation if a criminal case is made. “There is no point in referring the matter to the government as it is essentially a contractual dispute which is to be resolved and pursued to its logical end by the NHAI,” the letter said.

The NHAI had on Wednesday stated that the case, which is in Delhi High Court, was being prolonged on “one pretext or the other” while the lenders and the concessionaire, DGSCL, were raising extraneous issues and diverting the main issue. It also called upon the Haryana government for “finding fault with NHAI” instead of taking over by paying Rs 335 crore termination payment under political force majeure (unforeseeable circumstances).

But the ministry believes this would be more expensive than if they took over the project at a cost of Rs 130 crore. “It is patently clear that the government of Haryana is not pursuing its earlier intention of buying out this project. The only logical option therefore before the NHAI is to buy-back the concession as provided for in the agreement, at the earliest,” the ministry said in the letter.

The 28-km Delhi-Gurgaon expressway project has been embroiled in controversy over various issues including substandard service provided to commuters. The NHAI served the concessionaire with a termination notice, which was challenged in the Delhi High Court. The ministry has sought the assistance of the Attorney General to represent the NHAI in the court.

“The lenders, led by IDFC, extended Rs 1,600 crore to the concessionaire although this was not approved by NHAI. The concessionaire is not sharing details of the escrow account from where they have withdrawn Rs 676 crore by way of an inter-corporate deposit. We have asked the Enforcement Directorate to inquire if this contravenes any law of the land,” said a ministry official.


Hand Gurgaon expressway to us, NHAI tells Centre

September 26, 2013


 NEW DELHI : Fed up with protracted legal proceedings and Haryana government’s indifference, the National Highways Authority of India wants the Centre to allow it to take over the poorly run Gurgaon expressway. It has also supported doing away with tolling in public interest.
In a letter to the ministry of roads, transport and highways, NHAI chairperson R P Singh has asked the Centre to select the best option to end the daily nightmare of jammed toll booths that lakhs of stressed commuters have to put up with.Importantly, Singh has supported the growing public demand to end tolling. “Tolling in municipal areas causes inconvenience to public and there is a strong case in public interest to remove toll plazas from municipal limits,” he said.NHAI said the concession agreement has a provision for taking over the project from the concessionaire. “The right course of action in such a situation, therefore, should be to acquire back this concession than going on wasting time in litigation,” the letter said.

Urging the Centre to act, NHAI said that if the ministry did not consider the NHAI option, it should ensure the project is handed over to the Haryana government. In any event, the Centre should not spend more time on litigation that is dragging on.

In a sharp indictment of the Haryana government, NHAI told road secretary Vijay Chhibber that while Haryana government exploits the expressway link to generate revenues, it has done little to reduce the load on the highway.

“It is the responsibility of the state government to provide connectivity across the national highway without interfering with the highway traffic,” the NHAI said. But instead of improving infrastructure, Haryana has pursued sought added NHAI investment.

Officials told TOI that Haryana government has been glacial when it has come to implementing its promises. Neither the state government or the legal process was anywhere near providing a solution.

NHAI chief in his letter said the chaos on Gurgaon expressway is due to the linear development in the millennium city where large scale land use has been changed to maximize revenue. He has said that Gurgaon’s Master Plan should have provided for lateral arterial roads instead of using NH-8 as the main artery.

The letter echoes what Delhi-Gurgaon commuters and travelers within Gurgaon experience – the highway is one of the main conduits of intra-city commuting as underpasses, over bridges and linking roads have not been developed. Plans for an alternate Delhi-Gurgaon road are also gathering dust.

NHAI said it has written that Haryana government looks towards NHAI for even construction of foot over bridges (FOBs) and maintaining drains. “This is not the concept under which the highways are supposed to be developed and maintained,” the letter says.

Singh has said that Haryana has been pushing for creating additional facilities such as flyover at Hero Honda Chowk, FOBs, crossing facilities between Rajiv Chowk and Kherki Dhaula, which are not highway facilities but conveniences for town residents.

The NHAI chairman has also pointed to “reckless” lending by IDFC and four other public sector banks, who without regard to the termination payment, gave a Rs 1,600 crore loan on account of refinancing.

Singh mentioned that NHAI and the Centre had signed an agreement on September 18, 2012, with the concessionaire only with the view to protect interests of public sector banks. He claimed that despite NHAI walking an extra mile the lenders “do not seem to be bothered at all and are still behaving in an irresponsible manner.”

Singh points out that the developer and lenders are raising extraneous issues and diverting attention from the main issue of violation of the latest MoU that was negotiated under court supervision. By not implementing its terms, the concessionaire can be in contempt of the Delhi High Court. The case, he said, has made no progress in the last six months.

NHAI said that if Haryana does not want to take over the project, the Centre can consider giving about Rs 1.8 crore revenue per month – the amount that the authority gets as its revenue share from toll.

Operators blame cash users for traffic snarls on e-way

September 25, 2013

Aditya Dev, TNN |


GURGAON: While traffic snarls have made a comeback at the 32-lane toll plaza, the private concessionaire of Delhi-Gurgaon expressway blames cash users entering tag lanes as the major cause of indiscipline.Meanwhile, the concessionaire, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), has failed to popularize “touch and go” smart cards among commuters – an initiative to reduce wait time at the toll gates.

DGSCL failed to open a single sale point for smart cards along the expressway. The concessionaire was required to promote the sale of smart cards by making it available at petrol pumps and other convenient places along the expressway. It has been able to issue just 18,000 smart cards since last October.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the highway authority and the concessionaire, signed in September, 2012, has made it obligatory for DGSCL to introduce touch card technology on the toll plazas. Later, following an order of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Gurgaon police had suggested opening of outlets for selling smart cards at vantage points along the expressway to popularize it. The concessionaire opened one such sale point near the 32-lane toll plaza.

Now, this has also been shut and smart cards are only available at the three toll plazas of the expressway.

The drive to penalize cash users entering in the tag lanes also failed to take off. Out of 32 lanes, eight are earmarked for electronic tag users. But, the facility rendered useless with cash users also using this lane. In such a scenario, tag users are also made to wait in queues.

DGSCL has so far issued 1,37, 973 tags, out of which 1,23,006 are active, revealed an RTI reply given to a city resident Aseem Takyar.

A DGSCL spokesperson said, “Tag users are not able to get the benefit of a smooth passage as cash users deliberately get into tag lanes. This is one of the biggest reasons for congestion at the toll plaza. Ideally waiting time in tag lanes should be minimal if only tag users use the tag lane.”

“However, when cash in tag lane violation is high, the transaction rates in these “mixed” lanes, where cash users also enter tag lanes, sometimes dips to levels even lesser than the transaction rates of cash lanes. This is clearly a driving discipline issue that can only be resolved by challaning the errant cash drivers who enter the tag lane. Since as a concessionaire, we do not have the authority to challan such errant vehicles, we had written to the NHAI to give us the rights to challan such errant vehicles. As that did not happen, we have repeatedly requested the traffic police to step in as they have the authority to challan cash users who enter tag lanes. This needs to be done on regular basis,” the spokesperson added.

When contacted, joint commissioner of police (traffic) Bharti Arora said, “There is no such rule in Motor Vehicle Act to challan motorists for entering tag lanes. But, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the concessionaire can fix a penalty for this.”

Source -

Never an emergency on express-way?

September 25, 2013

Aditya Dev, TNN |

GURGAON: An RTI reply has revealed that not a single call or request has been received through the SOS call service on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway during the last one year. A spot visit to SOS booths on Friday revealed that they were out of order.The SOS service is meant to provide assistance to commuters in case of emergency. According to the concession agreement, emergency telephone system should be installed every two km and monitored by central control system.

While agreeing that the concessionaire, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), hardly receive any calls on SOS booths and stated that commuters prefer calling in directly on the toll free number and the other two helpline numbers from their mobile phones.

There are 26  DGSCL booths along the expressway.

The booths have remained out of the order for most of the time since its installation on account of vandalism and not being repaired by DGSCL. The Friday visit was no difference. The booths were out of order there was no response from them


The RTI applicant, Aseem Takyar, had sought reply from the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) about the total number of complaints, requests for SOS service in the last one year. NHAI stated that no complaint, requests were received. The authorities, however, added that more information is being obtained from the concessionaire.

NHAI said through the SOS helpline any service/help can be obtained from the corridor control of the concessionaire. As per the concessionaire agreement, the concessionaire is also required to provide medical room, first aid material in ambulance. There are four ambulances deployed by the concessionaire.

A DGSCL spokesperson said, “In case of any breakdowns or accidents, commuters prefer to call in from their cell phones directly at the toll free numbers that are mentioned along the expressway and on the toll receipt. They can call in at the toll free number 1800-103-1700 or at 9717890175 and 0124-2450800.”

More than a 100 calls are received every day on the toll free number and another 25-30 calls are received on the other two numbers which our corridor control teams respond to speedily, added the spokesperson.


DGSCL yet to receive NHAI notice

The DGSCL is yet to receive the notice issued by the NHAI regional office issued on Monday. NHAI office issued notice to the concessionaire directing it to immediately take up the road repair work of the expressway and service lanes. A DGSCL spokesperson stated Friday that the concessionaire has not yet received the notice. However, we would be responding to it as soon as we receive it. The maintenance of service roads on the expressway is also part of the matter being heard by the Delhi High Court where the matter is sub judice and would be next heard by the court in July.


An RTI application was filed seeking information from the NHAI about the total number of complaints/ requests for the SOS service

There are 26 SOS booths along the expressway

The booths are out of the order since its installation on account of vandalism, neglect

Commuters prefer calling in directly on the toll free numbers displayed on the route. There are three numbers 1800-103-1700 or at 9717890175 and 0124-2450800.”

More than 100 calls are received every day on the toll free number

Pay toll for expressway replete with roadblocks

September 17, 2013


BANGALORE: The irony of BIA Road is at the far end – Sadahalli gate, where the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) collects a toll from vehicles returning from the airport. Road users are paying through the nose for a journey on a bumpy road punctuated by gridlocks and littered with construction material.Though there was stiff resistance to the toll, NHAI had its way. The road users’ complaints against the arbitrariness of collecting toll when highway upgradation work is still under way, had few takers. The recent heavy showers have revealed that waterlogging is not only the result of poor drainage but also roadblocks created by the upgradation work, road users allege.

An estimated 1.24 lakh passenger car units (PCU) move towards NH-7. Each time it rains, BIA-bound vehicles run into waterlogging at Minsk Square, where absence of proper drainage and ongoing Metro work turns the road in front of GPO into a huge pool. Thursday was no different.

Motorists ran into another rain-aggravated gridlock at Mehkri Circle flyover that night. The next bottleneck was at Sahakarnagar junction.

“Despite the wide roads after Hebbal flyover, the bottlenecks start from Sahakarnagar junction, where the ramp to the elevated expressway is being constructed. Construction is on at snail’s pace here. Adding to the woes,BWSSB has undertaken drainage work by the roadsides,” said D Nagabhushanam, secretary, Sahakarnagar Residents’ Welfare Association.

Thursday night’s bottlenecks were severe after Kogilu Cross up to the trumpet intersection.

“We had resisted toll collection on a road which is yet to be upgraded. Our protests were silenced by the government. The endless construction work has doubled vehicle maintenance cost, as tyres have to be changed every quarter,” Holla slammed the government.

NHAI officials, on the other hand, maintained absolute silence on the poor drainage and problems created by the ongoing upgradation work. “It’s being done on a ‘develop, build, finance, operate and transfer’ model and the concessionaire (Navayuga Engineering) is facing a fund crisis which is causing the delay,” was all they said.


It’s daylight robbery on NH-7 : the National Highways Authority of India is collecting toll for a road which is yet to be built. That the state government has allowed it is also surprising. Work on the expressway has been going on for months now, the highway is a mess, and so are the drains. For commuters, it must be galling to pay up and then get gridlocked. While all infrastructure projects do inconvenience the public, those responsible for the expressway should realize this is a premium road and go about their work in a more organized manner and ensure the drains and roads are in working condition. Ideally, they should have stuck to their deadline and wound up before the monsoon.

SBI, NHAI spar on overlending to Soma

September 17, 2013

Manu Balachandran  |  

Roads regulator asks bank why it lent concessionaire about double the amount required for Panipat-Jalandhar expressway


Sounding the alarm on lending to road-sector projects, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has sought from State Bank of India (SBI) its reasons for providing to a concessionaire more funding than was required for constructing the 291-km Panipat-Jalandhar expressway.

In its letter to SBI – in what appears to be the first time it has questioned a financial institution over funding – NHAI has sought the reason for extending to concessionaire Soma-Isolux a loan of more than Rs 3,300 crore, an amount double the actual requirement according to the authority.

“We have written to the bank questioning its providing excess funds. We do not usually write to banks but we felt excess money being paid was actually a factor holding back projects. According to our estimate, in this case, the requirement was about half of what was paid,” a senior NHAI official told Business Standard.

NHAI had awarded the project to Soma after the company offered to pay it 20 per cent of the toll collected – the share was to rise by one per cent every year. SBI is the lead banker of a consortium that lent to the project. NHAI had last year terminated the contract with the company following complaints about the highway’s maintenance and toll collection. At present, the concessionaire is contesting the matter in the Supreme Court.

SBI and Soma officials confirmed that SBI had received the letter and sent a reply. “SBI has explained the reasons for providing the funds to Soma. In this case, the time difference between NHAI’s assessment and ours is the reason for the increase in cost estimates,” a senior SBI official said, asking not to be named.

Banks, which often provide funding to concessionaires to undertake projects, have stayed away from the road sector in recent times, as infra projects have been held up due to land acquisition delays. NHAI terminating contracts awarded to concessionaires over toll collection and maintenance complaints has also been a deterrent.

“Banks fund more than is necessary. But when a project is terminated and NHAI takes it back, the compensation it pays is in line with its own estimates. This is why banks have been staying away from funding road projects,” the NHAI official added.

For the Panipat-Jalandhar expressway, NHAI had estimated the cost of the entire project at Rs 2,747.5 crore. But the concessionaire estimated a total cost of Rs 4,518 crore, to be financed by lenders and through equity. The consortium led by SBI provided Rs 3,389 crore for the project, while equity contribution was Rs 623.43 crore. The remaining amount was to be brought in through internal accruals from toll collection.

“NHAI had estimated the cost way back in 2006-07, at the time of preparation of the detailed project report. The cost break-up was not evaluated properly for a project of this magnitude. On the other hand, our cost estimation was done in February 2009. The price of all construction materials had increased steeply during this period. The estimated total cost of Rs 4,518 crore was vetted by the lenders and their consultants before financing the project. The financial model and financing documents were filed with NHAI in early 2009 itself and was accepted without any objections. The regulator had not questioned the total project cost then; it seems to have come as an afterthought,” Soma Vice-President (Highways) P Ramchander Rao said in an emailed response.

Soma has also said that the project was delayed largely because of the failure of NHAI and local authorities in providing encumbrance-free right of way and approvals, as required in the concession agreement. “In spite of these delays, we completed six-laning of 228 of the 291 km, achieving 78 per cent progress. About 20 km of work front is unavailable to the concessionaire due to land acquisition, utilities and design approvals. The project is stuck also because of NHAI’s refusal to relocate the toll plazas according to our rights in the concession agreement. The matter is currently sub judice in the Supreme Court,” Rao added.

Soma is also in the middle of a debt-restructuring programme and has sought from its lenders a moratorium of about two years on term loans.


* Rs 2,747.5 cr NHAI’s project cost estimate

* Rs 623.43 cr Equity funding

* Rs 4,518.17 cr Concessionaire’s project cost estimate

* 78%: Concessionaire has so far completed six-laning of 228 of the 291 km

* Rs 3,389 cr Funding from lenders

* Rs 288 cr Approximate annual toll collection on the highway

Status: The Punjab High Court has asked NHAI to take over the project; the matter is currently sub judice

Dead end ahead

September 13, 2013

It was meant to be an intrinsic part of the urban dream that Noida was building. A 24.53-km stretch between Noida, a city that has its origins in the 1970′s, and, the more recent, planned extension of Greater Noida. If other satellite towns around the national capital such as Gurgaon constantly despaired on the state of the roads both inside and those leading to the city, the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway was Noida’s answer to motorists’ demand for world-class roads as more and more people drive in high-end and sophisticated cars.

Built by the Jaypee group which has also constructed the Yamuna Expressway, and later handed over to the Noida Authority, the six-lane road was meant to provide a high-speed link between Delhi and Greater Noida, in turn boosting the region’s market value. More than a decade after it was constructed in 2002, the road has stayed true to the promise of high-speed travel. But speed, combined with other logistical failings and lack of police enforcement, has turned the expressway into one of the most dangerous stretches in the National Capital Region (NCR).


Speed thrills

The expressway, almost deceptively, is far removed from the chaotic traffic that exists in the areas it connects — Delhi, Noida and Greater Noida. All six carriageways are well-carpeted, tempting drivers to speed. Lush greenery covers the median along the entire length, the road bending gently at places — but never enough to bring the speedometer down considerably. There are no traffic signals and, in concept, there is nothing to prevent an uninterrupted drive. But often, there are visible reminders that a commute was interrupted. A truck upturned on the median, a car damaged beyond recognition. Lives halted midway.



The first of several safety-related issues facing the expressway is pedestrians crossing the road. With the average speed of vehicles exceeding 85kmph, people crossing the road pose a risk to both themselves and the cars that veer dangerously to avoid them. “The reason we have to cross the road is there are no over-bridges. People are forced to cross the road to reach a bus stop on the other side, negotiating vehicles travelling at over 100kmph. We are exposed to danger every single day,” said Amit Gupta, a student at Amity University.

A string of commercial and residential projects have come up on both sides of the expressway, fuelled by good connectivity and Noida-Greater Noida’s growing population. “This has resulted in an increasing number of pedestrians who want to cross the road. Some of these institutions like Amity University and HCL cater to either students or office-goers who run into thousands. A majority of them use public transport and, therefore, have to navigate the expressway. Lack of bus stops at appropriate points and foot over-bridges means accidents are waiting to happen,” a traffic police officer said.


No over-bridges

While a large number of establishments have already come up near Noida, large residential complexes such as the Jaypee Wish Town complex are on their way as well. “Construction workers also cross the central verge, often carrying construction material that hampers their mobility. Once these complexes are ready, then residents will try to cross the road. It is imperative that arrangements are made. Either in the form of traffic signals or over-bridges at designated spots,” the officer said.

If the blame for the dearth of civic infrastructure can be laid at the door of the Noida Authority, the district traffic police too has failed to check over-speeding on the stretch. While the speed limit is 100kmph for cars and 60kmph for heavy vehicles and two-wheelers, it is routinely violated. Additionally, vendors selling sugarcane and fruits squat on the periphery of the road with several vehicles stopping by to make purchases. On the days Indian Express visited the expressway, on a weekday and again on a weekend, not one patrol vehicle was visible.


Lack of policing

“There is no deterrence as there are no police vehicles. If there is an accident, this delays investigation as well as reaching medical help to victims,” said Manish Sharma, a resident of Greater Noida who uses the stretch everyday.

Exacerbating the danger posed by high speed is the presence of extremely slow-moving traffic: cycles and other modes of public transport such as tempos. “Since no toll is charged on the road, it is the easiest route for people going from Noida to Greater Noida. There are various pick-up points such as Amity, HCL, the KPMG building and others, where people gather to board tempos,” said Prahlad Kumar, who operates a tempo on the stretch.

Dangerous in the day, the expressway becomes a demon at night. A Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) report states that the most dangerous period is between 10 pm and midnight, a time when trucks and other heavy vehicles use the road.

Speed it may facilitate but the 24.53-km stretch finds itself caught between its conception of a high-speed expressway and lack of sufficient checks and balances to make the drive a safe one. The twain must meet, for lives are at stake.



Gurgaon: tags no smart solution for eway mess

September 12, 2013

Snehil Sinha, Hindustan Times

Smart tags and cards have been a puzzle for commuters since the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway was inaugurated. While many daily commuters claim that they are not even if smart tags are still in use, others complain the limited validity of recharge on smart cards makes its usage cumbersome.

“I have no information about a smart card being issued nowadays and have not even seen any of my friends, who regularly travel between Delhi and Gurgaon, using it. These cards have not been endorsed properly and it seems they don’t want us to use the cards at all”, said Vivek Kamboj, an environmentalist and a resident of Gurgaon.

 Interestingly, a high-level panel had recommended use of DMRC-like smart cards years ago, fearing inconvenience posed by renewal of tags.

After the Comptroller and Auditor General’s performance audit of the Gurgaon Expressway in 2008, a specially constituted panel of parliamentarians had taken up the issue.

It had recommended that the NHAI should have a mechanism to monitor the toll plazas with a view to prevent putting the users through unnecessary harassment by way of illegal and unscrupulous methods of toll collection. The committee’s report stated that it understood that the renewal of monthly tags, issued by the concessionaire, is inconvenient to the users.

The committee therefore recommended that these tags be converted into smart cards and can follow the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) smart cards pattern which is renewed after exhausting the amount.

According to information revealed by an RTI, the NHAI observed that when it came to concession for local traffic, there was a lapse of balance amount after its expiry within a month in various cases.

The NHAI further directed the concessionaire to take immediate steps so that no balanced amount lapsed from the card or tag issued to the local traffic from March 2010 onwards. An independent consultant later reported to the NHAI that the concessionaire could not be penalized for lapse in the balance amount, as the clause was not a part of the agreement.

The same consultant in 2011 had reviewed DGSCL’s annual report on the working of toll collecting system and suggested that lapse in balance of discount schemes needed to be reviewed.

After protests on the imposition of toll, the concessionaire introduced tags at discounted rate in 2008. This was later improvised to smart cards in 2012, which the DGSCL, after court directives, is now pushing for. However, the smart cards, though issued free of cost unlike the tags, still carry a validity expiry period of one month if not used adequately. Though the concessionaire told HT that there were cards for which there is no validity of recharge and the balance could be carried forward, but the cards had no discount rates.



« Previous PageNext Page »