DND flyway to remain toll free, rules SC
Refusing to grant relief to the project concessionaire seeking the restoration of the toll collection, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered that the 9.2-km-long, eight-lane Delhi-Noida Direct (DND) flyway, will remain toll-free.
A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice L Nageswara Rao asked the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to verify the total cost of the Noida toll project and whether the concessionaire toll collection company has recovered its cost as provided under the agreement.
The top court has given the CAG four weeks to complete the audit.
On October 26, the Allahabad High court in response to a PIL filed in 2012 ruled that henceforth no toll tax shall be taken from those using the 9.2-km-long, eight-lane Delhi-Noida Direct (DND) flyway. The judgement came after almost 80 hearings that took place at the High Court regarding three hikes in toll at the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) highway.
The PIL, which was filed in 2012, had challenged the levy and collection of toll in the name of user fee by Noida Toll Bridge Company.
The court noted that the Concessionaire, according to their own financial statements, has recovered Rs 810.18 crore (approx) from toll income from the date of commencement of the project till 31.03.2014 and after deduction of operation and maintenance expenses and corporate income tax, the surplus was Rs 578.80 crore (computed before interest, depreciation, and lease rental received by the Concessionaire).
The road is used daily by around 1,25,000 vehicles on a weekday. On an average, the NTBCL collects around Rs 25 lakh daily as toll, with private cars paying Rs 28 and two-wheelers coughing up Rs 12 per trip.
It has witnessed several protests and demonstrations seeking scrapping of the Rs 28 toll following allegations that the operator of the 9.2-km-long stretch (including the Mayur Vihar link) has already made significant profits.