New Delhi: In a big relief to travellers on Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, toll plazas in 12 of the 16 lanes, which had been causing huge traffic snarls on it, will be dismantled as the legal dispute over the plazas ended today under the supervision of the Delhi High Court.
The High Court on Wednesday recorded the consent order in terms of tripartite settlement arrived at among NHAI, Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL) and lead financier IDFC.
The terms of the settlement, recorded by Justice Manmohan Singh in the consent order, would lead to dismantling of toll plazas 12 out of total 16 toll lanes on the Expressway.
The court, however, concurred with the plea of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) that South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and SMS Infrastructure Limited, which has been awarded a contract for three years by the civic body, can be allowed to use remaining four toll plazas for levying entry tax from commercial vehicles coming to Delhi.
"...This court is inclined to accept the settlement arrived between the three parties, namely, NHAI, IDFC Ltd and DGSCL, as applicant (SDMC) is not a party to the agreement; its independent petition is also pending.
"Thus, the prayer made in the application ...By SDMC for its impleadment as respondent cannot be accepted, coupled with the fact that NHAI has agreed to provide four lanes of the toll plaza, as discussed earlier, to the applicant to charge the toll tax from the commercial vehicles. The NHAI is also ready to cooperate with SDMC who can create its infrastructure for the purposes of collecting toll tax," the order said.
As per the settlement terms, DGSCL, which was operating the toll plazas, shall be "discharged of all claims, liabilities and obligations, existing and future, under the Concession Agreement dated 18th April, 2002, the Rupee Loan Agreement dated 9th September, 2010 and under the MoU dated 18th September, 2012 ....
"The said liabilities and obligations are hereby taken over and assumed by IDFC (on behalf of the senior lenders) on terms set out in the Bilateral Agreement between DGSCL and IDFC ...And NHAI consents thereto subject to no liability coming on to NHAI due to the said bilateral agreement."