The Supreme Court’s decision to allow the municipal toll contractor to exit from the existing contract has led to uncertainty over the collection of green tax and the transit of trucks not bound for Delhi.
Sources in the corporation said that as the current contractor is bound to collect the taxes for the government and the corporation only till 6am on February 1, the civic authorities have no alternative plan in place.
“The entire procedure which includes calling for tenders, finalising and incorporating the legalities will take time. It is highly likely that there will be a delay of at least one to two months before anything can be finalised,” said a municipal official.
The official also added that even if the municipal corporation hastened the entire process, there is a high probability that parties do not show any interest in bagging the contract.
“The green tax has added to the monetary pressure, the corporation would sign contract for a lower amount, given the current financial condition. Further due to extra amount incurred while collecting the green tax and decrease in the number of vehicles entering Delhi, the firms might stay away from the process,” the official added.
The municipal officials add that in case the firms fail to show interest, it might lead to an increase in congestion and pollution in the city.
The current concessionaire had said the green tax had reduced the number of trucks entering Delhi by over 30% suggesting that over 20,000 trucks had chosen alternative routes.
More than 52,000 trucks enter Delhi on a daily basis from the 127 entry/exit points.
“The corporation doesn’t have enough resources to handle all the toll gates, therefore it is likely that the trucks and other heavy vehicles might have free run in the city once again,” said a municipal employee.
The toll concessionaire had collected about Rs 60 crore in the past two months, sources say that lack of a concessionaire will also hurt the purse of the Delhi government. “A month’s delay would mean a loss of Rs 30 crore to the Delhi government hampering the proposal to enhance the public transport in the city,” the official said.