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Ghaziabad Development Authority plans to levy toll on Hindon elevated road

The Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) has directed its officials to conduct a study on the feasibility of levying toll on the 10.3-km Hindon elevated road, which connects Raj Nagar Extension to UP Gate near Ghaziabad’s border with Delhi. The authority said that the proposal has been considered due to the heavy cost involved in the repayment of loans procured for the elevated road project.

The Hindon elevated road is primarily based on pillars and takes commuters over a 10.3km route while bypassing the city. According to officials, the road caters to about 40,000 vehicles per day, while the estimated cost of the project was pegged at 1,100 crore with a design speed of 100kmph. The authority procured a loan of 700 crore for which the repayments have already started.

The road was thrown open to the public on March 30, 2018.

“We have asked our officials to take up a study on the feasibility of levying a toll at the Hindon elevated road. Once the study gets completed, we will consider the proposal as there is huge cost involved in the repayment of loan,” said RK Gupta, GDA chief engineer.

“The study will take into account various legal provisions and also the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Planning and Development Act, 1973, to find out if toll can be levied. Once the study report is submitted, the authority will take the final call,” Gupta added.

The authority is facing a shortage of funds ever since it got burdened with the repayment of two hefty loans. The first is for the Hindon elevated road itself, amounting to 700 crore, while the other was procured to make payments to farmers whose lands were acquired for the authority’s Madhuban Bapudham scheme. The second loan amounts to 900 crore.

Commuters, however, said that the move will not serve much purpose.

“The residents will oppose the move as the authority already charges elevated road cess on map clearances from areas such as Raj Nagar Extension. Instead, the authority should consider levying a toll on commercial vehicles or long-distance commuters but not on local commuters,” said Vikrant Sharma, a resident of Raj Nagar Extension.

Kavi Nagar councillor Himanshu Mittal, who is also a GDA board member, said that the move is not justified.

“The residents opposed such a move in 2019. The proposal for a toll to use the Hindon elevated road is simply not justified. It is not a national highway,” Mittal added.

In 2019, the authority had also proposed to extend the elevated road to Noida. A detailed project report was also prepared but the project cost was estimated at 1,234 crore due to which the authority deferred its decision.

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