In a huge relief for commuters in the national capital and its outskirts, the Allahabad High Court today declared the Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Flyway toll-free.
The court said its order is applicable with immediate effect.
The DND Flyway - which is one of the better-run toll plazas - connects Delhi on the west bank of the Yamuna with Noida and East Delhi.
It has witnessed several protests and demonstrations seeking scrapping 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.
COMPANY HAD CLAIMED OTHERWISE
Incidentally, the court order came a day after DND Director Monisha Macedo claimed the contract for operating the 9.2 km long road could be extended for two more years, beyond the stipulated 2031.
"We are trying to recover not only 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 happened," Macedo told IANS.
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 up to 2031 even if it has not earned returns then it can be extended for two years of time on requesting the Noida administration."
"I think the allegations are not based on the facts that have been understood by anybody. 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.
Macedo, who has been associated with the Noida Toll Bridge Company for more than a decade, said: "If 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 some of the company's recent initiatives, Macedo said that CCTV cameras with voice recording has been installed to keep a check on the behaviour of the toll collectors.