CAG begins auditing of DND flyway
The Delhi-Noida commuters could get complete final relief from paying toll tax at the Delhi-Noida-Delhi flyway, as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has started auditing the profit account of the flyway operator, Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited (NTBCL).
According to sources, the CAG swung into action to look into the book of accounts of the DND flyway operators, after the Supreme Court asked the national auditor to verify the cost of the project.
Even though the CAG has not yet received the formal request from Supreme Court in this regard, the apex auditor initiated the auditing process taking cognisance of the SC order. “The CAG would audit the total cost of project, its recovery and other financial matters of the DND flyway. The CAG held its first strategic meet with officials to outline the plan of action on November 18 and just a few days after the strategic meet, an entry conference with all stakeholders was also conducted, wherein representatives of auditee were present,” the source said.
During the whole auditing process, the CAG would audit accounts of three parties – Delhi government, Noida Authority and NTBCL. The audit would also draw a comparison between concessional and model requirements. The CAG has also written to concerned departments involved in the project to produce all related documents at earliest.
“The CAG will see relevant books of Noida authority as whether any agreement has been signed between toll tax collector and assigning authority or not, legal validity of the documents, total tax collected by commuters, etc. The Public Works department and Revenue department of Uttar Pradesh have also been asked to produce cost related documents,” the source said, adding that the auditing would be completed within the stipulated time of four weeks
The CAG has written to Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar and Noida Development Authority Chairman Rama Raman to provide all relevant documents to complete the auditing.
Notably, refusing to grant any relief to NTBCL from levying cess, the SC bench of Justice JS Khehar and Justice L Nageswara Rao had on November 11 asked the CAG to verify the cost of the DND flyway project and submit a report before the apex court.
On the toll collecting firm’s plea for interim stay on the Allahabad High Court order, the apex court bench headed by the Chief Justice had said, “You have only 10km 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 that 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.