The proposal to make the 28-km Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway toll-free has inched one step closer to its fruition.
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda met Union highways minister CP Joshi on Thursday to discuss various options to make the expressway toll-free.
The meeting comes close on the heels of the proposal submitted by IDFC, the lead lender of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway project, to the Delhi high court last week to do away with collection of toll on the 28-km stretch.
The project operator, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL), has been engaged in a legal battle since February 2012 over termination of their contract by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Sources said one of the options being explored is NHAI approaching the court again to terminate the contract of DGSCL, citing default of contractual obligations.
In case the court turns it down, the second option would be to seek acquisition of the project under political force majeure clause on the request of the Haryana government. In the event of compulsory acquisition, all financial implications would have to be borne by Haryana.
The third option discussed was to accept the IDFC’s proposal to remove the first toll plaza and shift the second plaza beyond city limits — if the court decides that the project lenders can substitute the current operator with another one.
“Various possibilities came up for discussion. However, a final decision will be taken only after May 17, when the case comes up for hearing,” said an official privy to the development.