The Noida authority told the Allahabad high court that no tender was issued to the Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL), the concessionaire for the DND Flyway, because the then Delhi government had allowed the concessionaire to collect toll.
The high court on Wednesday had questioned why toll collection was started without following the procedure of issuing a tender in newspapers, officials said.
The Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Flyway, an eight-lane flyway connecting Delhi with Noida, had started operations, including toll collection, in 2001.
“Our counsel today (on Thursday) submitted records available pertaining to toll collection operations in the Allahabad high court,” Saumya Srivastava, deputy chief executive officer (DCEO) of the Noida authority, said.
As per records available with the Noida authority, there was no tender issued because the then Delhi government had allowed the Noida toll bridge company (NTBCL) to collect toll at DND Flyway.
“The then Uttar Pradesh and Delhi governments had signed a memorandum of understanding with NTBCL. After signing the MoU, the Delhi government had intimated the Noida authority that NTBCL has been allowed to collect toll . This was the reason that the Noida authority had not floated tenders, the specified process for allotting public works,” a UP government official said.
The Supreme court on June 30, 2016 had directed the high court to either dispose of DND toll removal petition or order a stay over toll collection as requested (by petitioner), within three months. As a result, the high court is hearing this case on most consecutive days.
The federation of Noida residents welfare associations (FONRWA) in 2012 had filed a petition demanding removal of DND toll on grounds that the concessionaire was collecting toll even after having recovered much in excess of the project cost -- `408 crore. According to FONRWA, NTBCL had collected `923 crore till 2014.
“The then IAS officers of Noida, UP and Delhi government had signed a one-sided agreement to benefit NTBCL. They assured 20% return over `408 crore of investment. It is the only agreement in India that assures a 20% profit. Another big, deliberate anomaly is that NTBCL can add the annual shortfall to its profits in the project cost. We hope the HC will remove the toll now,” AN Dhawan, chief advisor of FONRWA, a residents’ body, said.
As per the agreement, it is estimated that NTBCL will recover `53,000 crore by 2031. The Noida authority has dues of `2,300 crore to be paid to NTBCL up to 2012.
“Since the operator has earned huge profits now, it should stop toll collection,” Chetan Sharma of confederation of NCR RWAs said.
NTBCL spokesperson Anwar Abbasi refused to comment on the issue.