By Kunal Rao
The Delhi HC has issued notice to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) on a plea seeking directions to NHAI to ensure the basic amenities like Petrol Pumps, Toilet Complex, ambulance and emergency facilities, Eateries, Police Patrolling etc on Eastern Peripheral Expressway and Western Peripheral Expressway.
The plea filed by Advocate Amit Sahni has further sought directions that wayside amenities be integrally planned and developed along with National Highways and such amenities be made operational by the NHAI for all its future projects before the commencement of toll collection on all such highways, in order to ensure safety and security of the commuters.
The Petitioner referred to a news article “Lack of basic amenities on KMP Expressway annoy commuters” published in “The Hindu” newspaper, in which, the absence of basic facility such health and toilet facilities on the expressways was reported. He further contended that absence of toilet facilities show the poor implementation of Swatch Bharat Abhiyaan and the same should be given importance in order to see the proper implementation of the scheme which is flagship scheme of the government.
Western Peripheral Expressway or Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway, is an operational 6-lane, 135.6 Km long Expressway in Haryana. Along with the Eastern Peripheral Expressway, the Western Peripheral Expressway was constructed with an expectation to divert more than 50,000 heavy vehicles from Delhi, which will help to maintain good air quality in Delhi. Western Peripheral Expressway along with Eastern Peripheral Expressway completes the largest ring road around Delhi. Each of the 10 entries and exits are tolled and toll rates are notified in December 2018 in Rs 1.35 per km for cars, Rs 2.18 per km for light motor vehicles, Rs 4.98 per Km for trucks and buses, and two wheelers are not permitted on the expressways.
That the Western Peripheral expressway became operational about two years back, but none of the following basic facilities are made available on the said expressway:
- Petrol Pumps
- Ambulance Helpline
- Toilet Complex
- Emergency Services
- Medical Service
- Crane facility
- Police Patrolling
- Fast Tag
That thousands of vehicles cross western Peripheral way daily but despite paying the toll, none of the above, basic facilities are available on the expressways. However the basic facilities on the Eastern Peripheral expressway were made available since the same was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Modi in November last year.
—India Legal Bureau