HC grants more time to NHAI, DGSCL to bury differences
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday gave yet more time to the NHAI and the concessionaire operating Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway to sort out their differences and reach an out-of-court settlement.
Justice S Muralidhar granted time till September 17 after NHAI and concessionaire, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL) agreed to resolve the differences.
Appearing for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), senior advocate Sudhir Nandrajog submitted to the court that the board, which has members from different Central ministries, had finalised the draft MoU on August 13 and has given the same to the DGSCL on August 17 for examination.
"The memorandum including the financial issues and facilities for commuters has been approved by the board and its decision is final. Now they (DGSCL) have to respond to it," the NHAI counsel said.
DGSCL`s counsel Neeraj Kishan Kaul, however, said the concessionaire has its own suggestions which were given to NHAI chairman yesterday and some more time is required to reach a conclusion.
"In response to the board`s terms and conditions, we have also given five suggestions to the NHAI chairman and they are under consideration.
"Talks are still on and we are trying to narrow down the differences. We will sort them out in a few days," Kaul said.
On issues relating to commuters` facilities, the board had reportedly proposed that number of trips for frequent commuters should be brought down to 40 a month against the existing 60 trips as regular commuters like office-goers don`t take the road all 30 days in a month and 15-20 trips are lapsed.
The board had also reportedly proposed to the DGSCL to
provide smart tags free of cost and to introduce smart cards at nominal price for those who don`t use monthly passes.
The court earlier had directed NHAI to meet the developer to resolve their disputes and reach an amicable solution.
The court was hearing DGSCL`s plea to restrain NHAI from taking any coercive action against it, including termination of the contract to operate the expressway.
The NHAI had alleged DGSCL of committing fraud in the form of re-financing the project without getting its approval.
The highway authority, while ordering termination of its deal with the private firm, had accused it of failing to improve services at the 32-lane toll plaza.
The DGSCL had approached the court after the NHAI had issued a preliminary notice to it on December 7 last year for cancelling the contract.
The high court had stayed execution of the NHAI notice.
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