The Greater Noida authority on Tuesday said efforts were being made to build a consensus with Jaypee Group, the developer of the Yamuna Expressway, to keep 24-km Noida-Greater Noida Expressway toll-free.
The state government has built the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway. The developer has built the Yamuna Expressway (from Greater Noida to Agra). An agreement between the previous state government and Jaypee Group says both links will be merged and handed over to the builder, which can collect toll on the entire stretch.
Authority’s chief executive officer (CEO) Rama Raman told Hindustan Times, “We have been protesting the builder’s intent to collect toll on the old link. But the agreement is in favour of the builder. If it goes ahead with its plan, we will move court.”
Raman, however, hinted the builder could be compensated in other ways if it dropped its demand of toll on the old link. “A supplementary agreement allowing the builder to collect toll on the Yamuna Expressway longer than permitted now can be an option. But nothing has been decided as yet,” he said.
The Noida-Greater Noida Expressway was built by the two development authorities in Noida and Greater Noida at R400 crore. The authorities here during Mayawati’s tenure had agreed to hand over the Noida Expressway to the Jaypee Group. But now with a change of guard in the state, the Samajwadi Party may not burden commuters on the Noida-Greater Noida stretch with toll charges.
BSP’s decision had generated much protest up. The then district magistrate Deepak Agarwal even wrote to the government collecting toll on a stretch, which had been operational for several years, would create chaos.
Government sources in Lucknow on Thursday hinted the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway might be retained toll-free and alternative ways aimed at financial viability worked out to make sure “all parties’ interests were intact.”
Residents of Greater Noida are not against the Noida expressway being merged with the Yamuna Expressway but said they would protest toll up to Greater Noida.
“Toll tax is levied to recover the cost of a road. But this highway has been operational for the last eight years. We will take to streets if toll is levied as it will put additional burden of over R1,200 per month on each person,” they said.