As the four-year-long legal battle came to end on Wednesday with the Allahabad high court ordering removal of the Delhi Noida Direct Flyway toll, the Federation of Noida residents’ welfare associations (Fonrwa) thanked the courts for bringing relief to thousands of commuters.
“We thank the high court and Supreme Court for bringing great relief to the commuters using the flyway,” said AN Dhawan, secretary general, Fonrwa.
Commuters had to pay Rs 28 for four-wheelers and Rs 10 for two-wheelers to the Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited for using DND. More than 1.5 lakh vehicles cross the two toll gates every day.
Fonrwa had filed a special petition in Supreme Court in June seeking its intervention after it failed to get a stay on toll collection from the high court. The apex court directed high court in July-end to dispose of the matter in 90 days.
Ranjit Saxena, Fonrwa lawyer at high court, called the verdict a victory of the residents of the district Gautam Budh Nagar and NCR.
“If they challenge the high court order in the Supreme Court, they will lose the case there as well,” said Saxena.
Confederation of NCR RWAs (Conrwa), which has filed a petition in Delhi high court in this regard, also welcomed the decision.
Chetan Sharma, secretary general Conrwa, said, “We welcome high court’s decision. The journey of four years of residents finally came to an end.”
Besides (Fonrwa), confederation of NCR RWAs (Conrwa), Noida Vikas Manch (NVM), Maulik Bharat, Bharatiya Kisan Union and Janhit Morcha supported by many other associations and forums of district Gautam Budh Nagar and national capital region struggled to make the flyway toll-free in the last couple of years.
In 2014, Noida residents under banner of Noida Vikas Manch staged a huge protest disrupting the tolls for two days.
Janhit Morcha members led by former BJP MLA and minister Nawab Singh Nagar staged indefinite strike at DND on August 28 and arrested by local police next day.
Meanwhile, the Noida authority officials on Wednesday said that the Allahabad high court decision vindicated its stand.
Rama Raman, chairman of the Noida authority, said that the authority had always supported the residents, who were against toll collection. Raman joined Noida authority in 2010 and continued here till June end this year as chief executive officer. He has been fully familiar with the case and protests pertaining to the DND flyway toll issue.
“The Noida authority had through an affidavit made its stand clear within legal limits in the Allahabad high court that general public’s anger against the toll was justified,” said Saumya Srivastava, deputy chief executive officer of the Noida authority.
An eight-lane flyway connecting Delhi with Noida, the company started its operations and toll collection in 2001.