TO provide better commuting experience to road users using the stretch and for generating employment for female population residing in close vicinity of the Mathura toll plaza, the NHAI concessionaire has employed only local girls as collectors
of toll fees.
The Delhi-Agra toll project is 180 km in length and connects Delhi, the National capital with the historical town of Agra and has prominent religious places/ towns like Mathura, Virindavan and Govardhan located en route. There are two toll plaza located on the project road, one at Palwal, (KM74.000) and other at Mathura, (KM164.000).
NHAI has entered into an agreement with concessionaire Delhi-Agra Toll Road Pvt Ltd (DATR), a group company of Reliance Infra Ltd, for widening the road from existing four lanes to six lanes carriageway.
What started as an experiment has become a precedent for others to follow as the girls at Mahuvan (Mathura) Toll Plaza are persistently and diligently carrying out their duties for last one and a Half years. Currently, a total of 25 female staff is employed at the toll plaza for carrying out various duties. Belonging to poor communities, these local female staffers are running their family independently and are a social support for their dependents.
Out of the three shifts, the morning shift is exclusively manned by female staff; they not only collect the toll fees but also manage traffic in the lanes. Initially, the concessionaire did face problems as the concept was being tried for the first time in this part of the country and with the toll industry being a predominately male dominated industry, parents were not keen on their daughters taking up the job. Also, the girls themselves were unsure whether they would be able to perform the duties, or not.
But the result has been every encouraging. There have been less user complaints and decline of alter-cations at the plaza. The women are sincere, disciplined and honest in their work. Due to inherent charac-teristics, they possess soft skills needed to handle the duties.
(Inputs from NHAI)