The DND flyway connecting Delhi and neighbouring Noida will remain toll free for commuters with the Supreme Court today refusing to stay the Allahabad High Court verdict restraining Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd from levying cess. A bench of Justices J S Khehar and L Nageswara Rao also asked the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to verify the cost of the DND flyway project and submit a report before the apex court.
“We have requested the CAG to verify the cost of the project…” the bench said, adding, “We refuse to grant any relief.”The apex court had on October 28 refused interfere with the HC order restraining the company, saying it will pass directions after Diwali vacations.
On the toll collecting firm’s plea for interim stay on HC order, the apex court bench headed by the Chief Justice had said, “You have only ten kms of highway and you claim that you have made a road to the moon. … You have done well but not something (great).”
The firm had said the High Court did not take into account all aspects and submitted that factors like interest on construction cost, depreciation and maintenance expenses, which come to around Rs 12.5 lakh per day, have not been duly considered.
The high court, on October 26, had brought cheers to millions of commuters ruling that no toll will be collected henceforth from those using the 9.2 km-long, eight-lane DND flyway. The order was passed as the high court allowed a PIL by the Federation of Noida Residents’ Welfare Association.The PIL, filed in 2012, had challenged the “levy and collection of toll in the name of user fee” by the NTBCL.
In an over 100-page judgement, the high court had held “the user fee which is being levied/realised is not supported by the legal provisions relied upon by the Concessionaire (Noida Toll Bridge Company), Infrastructure Leaning and Financial Services (promoter and developer of the project) and Noida Authority.”