Delhi: In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to put a stay on the Allahabad High Court order making the Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway toll free.
The apex court, in its judgement, also ordered the CAG audit of the toll bridge company Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL), which had filed a plea in the apex court against the Allahabad High Court`s order.
The apex court further asked the CAG to file its report within four weeks on total money invested and spent in construction of the DND flyway.
In its plea, the NTBCL had asked the apex court put a stay on the Allahabad HC order asking it to stop collecting toll from commuters plying on the DND flyway connecting Delhi and neighbouring Noida.
The apex court had on October 28 refused to stay the Allahabad High Court`s order that no toll will be collected from commuters moving on the DND till further orders.
The apex court had earlier said that it will get the profit account of DND toll company audited either by CAG or by an independent auditor to find whether the profit recovered was adequate.
The flyover connects Delhi on the west bank of the Yamuna with Noida and East Delhi.
A division bench comprising Justices Arun Tandon and Sunita Agarwal passed the order while allowing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Federation of Noida Residents` Welfare Association.
The PIL, which was filed in 2012, had challenged the "levy and collection of toll in the name of user fee by the Noida Toll Bridge Company".
Commuters travelling from Delhi to Noida or East Delhi have heaved a sigh of relief over not being told to pay Rs. 56 to and fro (Rs.28 each way) every day to facilitate a smooth entry and exit in the Delhi-NCR region.
Earlier in August, a group of protesters had demanded that the Rs. 28 toll be scrapped, alleging that the Noida Toll Bridge Company had already made profits, but were still charging toll.
The expressway, which opened in 2001, considerably reduces the travel time between Delhi and Noida. Commuters, however, often face huge traffic jams.Nearly 1.5 lakh vehicles take the route daily.