Around Rs. 2.5 lakh were collected to construct the road.
Demolition of a newly constructed road near Dwarka Expressway on Tuesday morning came as a bolt from the blue for residents. They had painstakingly constructed the road not too long ago. The move angered them no end.
Recounting the incident, the residents said officials of Millennium City Expressway Private Limited (MCEPL) came with two-three JCB machines in the morning and razed the 350-meter long road which was constructed on Sunday night through the funds collected by the residents.
The locals, along with local leaders, had built the road on a patch of Northern Peripheral Road (NPR) linking service lane of National Highway (NH)-48. Around Rs. 2.5 lakh were collected to construct the road.
They informed that the stretch of road was in deplorable condition and was used by the residents of Sector 79-113 to avoid the Kherki-Dhaula toll.
Yashesh Yadav, president of Dwarka Expressway Welfare Association, said, “We have been demanding removal of the toll for a very long time. When our demand was not fulfilled, we ourselves constructed a temporary road to get some relief from paying toll.”
An eyewitness said that the officials had a heated exchange with the residents when they objected to the demolition.
Lokesh Yadav, a resident of Vatika India Next, said, “It was really disappointing to see the government supporting a private company when they should be on our side. Instead of helping us, they are working in the interest of the private company.”
The residents informed that they had already left five metre of land so that the road remained disconnected with the expressway to avoid legal ramification.
Questioning the intention of the government, Praveen Malik, RWA president of Sare Homes, said they didn’t want to remove the toll that was causing severe health hazard. And now they are putting additional financial burden on the residents living in the societies.
“This action shows the double standards of the government. On one hand they are trying to be seen as supporters of the residents, while on the other, they don’t want to harm the interests of private companies,” he alleged.
“The residents were already using that part of the road to avoid the toll which was full of potholes. To get some relief, they constructed the road. Why didn’t they (the government or toll operator) object when it was constructed? The road was built on a privately owned land and no permission was required from any authority. The owner of the land can use the way he wants to,” he argued.
The officials of MCEPL, however, justified the move saying they have full legal right to protect the right of way from any unauthorised entry/exit throughout the concession period. S Raghuraman, Chief Executive Officer of MCEPL, said, “The road was illegally constructed without the knowledge of the government authorities and was not approved by agency. The matter is under litigation and the next date of hearing is on December 19.”