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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

NHAI junks Gurgaon e-way operator’s settlement plan

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 03, 2013
First Published: 23:18 IST(3/4/2013) | Last Updated: 23:20 IST(3/4/2013)

The Delhi-Gurgaon expressway operator on Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that it was willing to get out of the project provided it was cleared off all the liabilities.

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But the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) rejected the proposal, saying “it was nothing new and the operator had to comply with all the obligations”.

The NHAI had last year slapped a contract termination notice on the operator for violating terms of agreement.

“It is a gross misinterpretation of facts to say that the toll plaza is running at a loss when it is profitable... attempts are being made to push us out just when profits have started coming in after we invested so much on the project,” senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, counsel for concessionaire Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), told justice Manmohan Singh.

The operator denied NHAI’s allegation that it had “siphoned off” R676 crore meant for the toll plaza towards other projects.

The court had on March 22 stayed a fresh show-cause notice issued by the NHAI to the operator on March 8 for its alleged failure to upgrade facilities and renovate the road that connects the national capital with the millennium city.

The court, which is hearing a petition filed by DGSCL against the first termination notice on February 18, 2012, said operation of the fresh notice was stayed till the court took a final stand on the earlier notice.The fresh notice came five months after both sides said they had settled the differences between them and had signed a memorandum of understanding.

The financiers of the project, Infrastructure Development Finance Company Ltd, had also signed the MoU.The NHAI board had also proposed that the number of trips for frequent commuters should be brought down to 40 a month against the existing 60 trips.


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