The operator of the DND Flyway has decided to hold off on a 20% toll hike after pressure from several quarters.
The revised rates were to become effective on Saturday.
The move came after the Noida authority mounted pressure on the operator to withdraw the hike, saying it will fuel protests by residents.
Citing provisions in the concession agreement, the Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd, the concessionaire, had on Thursday said that it has sought permission from the Noida authority to increase the toll rates.
However, authority chief executive officer Sanjeev Saran said, “The letter, which the operator wrote on September 4 to the authority, demanded a 20% toll hike from September 15. We categorically told the operator that it cannot hike rates twice a year.”
The operator had proposed increasing toll on four-wheelers and two-wheelers by R3. According to the proposal, two-wheelers would have had to cough up Rs. 14 instead of Rs. 11 while four-wheelers would have paid Rs. 25 instead of Rs. 22. Following the announcement, residents had threatened to move court against the operator.
The toll on commercial vehicles was to be increased by Rs. 35.
“As per the operator’s proposal, heavy trucks were supposed to cough up Rs. 130 instead of Rs. 95,” said a senior authority official. The toll rates were last increased in November 2011.
Though happy with the decision, residents now demand representation in the toll fee revising committee. At present, the fee-revising committee comprises three members. One member is from the operator firm, one from the authority while the third is nominated by the promoters and stakeholders of the concessionaire.
“The fee-revising committee has no representative of the public. Since two members are nominated by the operator, they can hike toll at their will. We have urged the authority to fight for residents’ representation in the committee,” said Munna K Sharma of Sector 71 residents’ welfare association.
Authority officials say that DB Lal has been chairman of the fee revising committee ever since DND opened on February 30, 2001.