You may be charged a toll from July for that smooth DME drive

You may be charged a toll from July for that smooth DME drive

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is planning to introduce a toll system for vehicles travelling on the Delhi-Meerut Expressway (DME) from the second week of July.

Officials at the authority said a trial run for the toll collection system was concluded recently and they have sent a proposal to the Union road transport and highways ministry with all details, including the rates. The toll will be collected through FASTags and between Sarai Kale Khan and Meerut, eight collection points have been proposed. Of them, five are in Ghaziabad itself. The entire six-lane corridor became operational in April.

“The road between Sarai Kale Khan and Meerut has been developed in three phases. The first is from Sarai Kale Khan to UP Gate, the second phase is from UP Gate to Dasna and the final phase is from Dasna to Meerut,” said Mudit Garg, project director, NHAI. “We were not charging toll all this while because we were waiting for the whole stretch to become operational. Now, we are ready to introduce the system,” he added.

The 60km stretch of DME, from Sarai Kale Khan to Meerut, is access-controlled. “There are eight entry/exit points on the road — Sarai Kale Khan, Akshardham, Indirapuram, Dundehera, Dasna, EPE (near Masuri), Bhojpur and Meerut,” Garg said, adding that charges would be applicable for all vehicles accessing DME through the eight points. The eight lanes of NH 9 that run parallel to DME, however, will remain toll-free.

“Automatic number plate readers that are linked to FASTags have been installed at the toll points. The money will be directly deducted from a FASTag user’s account,” Garg said.

“All vehicles travelling on the expressway should have high security registration plates (HSRPs). For a vehicle that still does not have it, the toll would be collected manually for now,” Garg added.

In its proposal, NHAI has mentioned Rs 2.16 per km as the toll rate for cars. At this rate, a journey from Sarai Kale Khan to Meerut (60km) would cost about Rs 130. “The final rates would be decided by the ministry,” Garg said.

Several people use DME daily to travel between Ghaziabad and Delhi and most of them said they would be inconvenienced if a toll system is launched. “The idea of charging toll on DME at this time is not good because part of the road near UP Gate is still not accessible because of the farmers’ protest. The stretch near Chipiyana is under construction. It is not an easy ride and even then, we will have to pay a toll,” said lawyer Ashish Kumar, an Indirapuram resident who travels to Delhi almost daily.

News source- Economic Times

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