<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Located 500 metres away from the dismantled booths on Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) flyway, a toll booth managed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has been making travel hell for daily commuters.While the flyway has become toll-free ending traffic jams, the MCD toll booth has become the cause of daily hassle for commuters of Delhi and Noida.Due to lack of any guidelines, the vehicle are stopped middle of the roads, leading to massive traffic jam.”The purpose of removing the toll has been defeated. Earlier, the road towards the flyway was wide enough to deal with a large number of vehicles. But now, this road is so narrow that it can accommodate only one or two cars at a time. The rest have to wait and stand in a queue,” said Aman Singh, a resident of Laxmi Nagar who works in a company in Sector 16 Noida.The problem began when the Allahabad High Court in 2016 passed an order stating that the concessionaire, Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd (NTBCL), was no longer entitled to charge toll since it had “recovered all reasonable returns”. After the order, toll booths at the DND plaza were emptied, toll operators lost their jobs, and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) set up a temporary booth to collect other taxes. The situation turns dangerous during the night.”The boys standing at the booth behave like goons and harass our cab driver. There are no policemen at the booth to put an end to these antisocial elements. Every day we end up wasting at least 15 minutes at the tax collection booth,” said Shweta Sharma, a resident of Mayur Vihar Extension.Recently, the Gautam Buddh Nagar District Magistrate also raised the matter with the Noida authority. A letter dated September 29 was sent to the Noida Authority asking them to permit collection of MCD toll tax at the toll plaza only.The MCD officials have cited shortage of staff as the main reason for the chaos. According to the officials, a private company has been hired to manage the toll tax collection as the civic body is under staff crisis.SHORTAGE OF STAFFThe MCD officials have cited shortage of staff as the main reason for the chaos. According to the officials, a private company has been hired to manage the toll tax collection as the civic body is under staff crisis. VOICESTravelling on that route in the night is a nightmare. My cab driver was harassed by one of these goons who suddenly came to our car to take the toll. I was scared as they were carrying hockey sticks. He banged on our car twice to make us stop. It was really scary.—DeepshikhaThere are no guidelines on how to manage the traffic flow on that road. Motorists drive through these narrow lanes without following the traffic rules. The barricades placed on the road are barely visible during the night due to lack of visibility.—Krishan SinghIn the evening, heavy vehicles such as truck and buses stop mid-way and park their vehicles on the road which makes the flyway narrower and causes congestion. Commuters get caught in the jam and face a tough time after the entry of these vehicles starts.—Shweta SinghIt is better to avoid this route rather than getting stuck in traffic jam for hours. My cab was stuck here for one hour after a truck broke down in middle of the road. There was no traffic police to manage the traffic situation and lead to congestion.—Rashi AroraWe have forwarded the matter to the higher authorities but nothing has been done so far neither has any action been taken to tackle this issue. There should be a better coordination between the police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to avoid such incidents.—JR GuptaThe Municipal Corporation of Delhi should ideally widen the stretch to avoid traffic jams. More employees should be deployed at the booth to streamline the collection process. This will help in reducing the waiting time in paying the tax and avoid congestion too.—Ayushmaan ChawlaEXPERT SPEAKThere is so much freight coming to Delhi causing congestion and pollution. We are trying to work out a system to divert the trucks through the bypass and issuing penalties to those violating norms through electronic surveillance. The government here is trying to get the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system which can check vehicles electronically and will help curb corruption. We have proposed the new system to the union government. In developed countries such as Japan, US and Australia, among others, they have freight trucks coded with details of weight electronically passing through security checks where the information given is authenticated.—PK Sarkar, head of transport planning, School of Planning and Architecture

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SPEAK UP | Nightmare on DND: Civic body toll booth throws traffic out of gear