Amid demands for making the privately-funded Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) Flyway toll-free, the director of the concessionaire said that the contract for operating it can even be extended for two more years — beyond the stipulated 2031 — if it has not earned profits till then.
Monisha Macedo, president of Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL), the concessionaire, said, “We are not just trying to recover the cost of construction. Under the concessionaire agreement, apart from the cost, we also have to earn a return. After all, it’s a private investment that has taken place.”
Asked if the DND will be handed over to the government after 2031, Macedo said, “There is a clause (in the agreement) which says that (the agreement is) up to 2031. If it has not earned returns then it can be extended for two years on requesting the Noida administration.”
The DND Flyway connects Delhi on the west bank of the Yamuna with Noida and east Delhi.
It has witnessed several protests and demonstrations, demanding the removal of the Rs.28 toll, following allegations that the operator of the 9.2-km-long stretch (including the Mayur Vihar link) has already made significant profits.
“I think the allegations are not based on facts. The contract was signed between the Noida authority and us. The allegations are coming from the people who are not aware of all the facts,” she said.
“This is a privately-funded contract that means there is nothing wrong in earning a return,” Macedo said.
Macedo, who has been associated with the Noida Toll Bridge Company for more than a decade, said, “If the cost of construction is a figure, we could have crossed it but that’s not the point. The cost of construction includes the return, which has not been recovered.”
Speaking about the company’s recent initiatives, Macedo said that CCTV cameras with voice recorders have been installed to keep a check on the behaviour of toll collectors.
“All the booths have got cameras with voice recorders. There have been complaints by users against the toll collectors. We conduct a lot of training to train our staff to be polite because it is a service industry,” Macedo said.
She said that the company is also updating the technology for toll collection. “What happens with technology is that after some years there is a limit to the data an old system can hold,” she said.