After two years of legal battle between the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the gurgaon toll plaza developer --Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), the government is likely to have a peaceful termination of the concession, which will give the rights of substitution to NHAI. According to sources, it was late on Friday when the lenders IDFC, concessionaire - DGSCL and the highway authority had a discussion where the latter two agreed to hand over the toll plaza to the government.
"Both IDFC and DGSCL have written to the ministry and the NHAI that they are ready to terminate the contract and give away the claims of termination, which according to them to are to the tune of over Rs 900 crores," the source said.
DGSCL and IDFC will now submit a similar declaration in the Delhi High Court on Monday as well, sources added.
However, will it be a smooth ride for the commuters at the Gurgaon border, it is still a far fetched dream. Once the court accepts the self declaration of both the lenders and the developers, highway minister Oscar Fernandes will have to give his final consent to decide the fate of the project.
As per the plan of NHAI, they would remove the toll plaza at Delhi-Gurgaon border and have only one toll gate at Kherki Dhaula for the passengers crossing NH-8.
With DGSCL agreeing to exit the expressway project, lenders led by IDFC will now set up a new company to operate the 28-km expressway which sees nearly two lakh vehicles cross the congested toll gate at the entrance of Gurgaon every day. During peak hours, cars constitute 72% of the traffic and even during the wait time if invariably over five minutes.
As per the estimates, senior officials see that once the toll collection from Kherki Dhaula start it would be enough to service the loan of Rs 1,600 crore that lenders have extended to DGSCL. Once the main toll plaza is removed traffic passing through the Kherki Dhaula toll plaza will have to pay the user charge for the entire stretch.
But a detailed plan to keep in consideration the rights of the lenders, public convenience and the governments rights will be chalked out later, the source said.
Experts say that once the termination takes place, a lot of litigation matters will be withdrawn and only then a solution is likely.
Spokespersons for the highway operator refused to comment