Explain delay in 6-laning of Delhi-Agra highway: HC
A Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath sought reasons from NHAI for the delay in completing the project saying “ultimately it is causing inconvenience to the people.”
“You have to satisfy us that you have taken all necessary steps to complete the project in the stipulated time,” the Bench said and directed NHAI to submit the reasons for <g data-gr-id="44">delay</g> within four weeks.
The court was hearing a plea challenging collection of toll on NH-2 by the concessionaire, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) of Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, saying the fee cannot be collected while the highway was still being developed.
The court also issued <g data-gr-id="38">notice</g> to the Centre and NHAI and sought their replies on the PIL by R K Dhiman who has sought termination of the licence of the concessionaire to collect toll fee during the construction period.
When the court sought to know the reasons for the delay, the NHAI counsel <g data-gr-id="35">said</g> “it is a large project”. He also said that as per its contract with the SPV, an alternate service road was provided during the period of development.
The Bench, however, observed that usually the service roads were water-logged and traffic piled up there.
The court also made it clear that it was only on the question of why the project was being delayed.
The petition, filed through advocates Anil Kumar and Abhishek Bhardwaj, has contended that the concessionaire was “neither maintaining the existing four lanes nor constructed the six lanes for users of NH-2, causing chaos to the public.”
According to the petition, NHAI had entered into an agreement with the concessionaire to develop six lanes on <g data-gr-id="46">a 180</g> <g data-gr-id="47">km-stretch</g> of NH-2 “through private participation on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis in a period of 910 days from October 16, 2012, while maintaining the existing four lanes”.
“The execution of project of six-<g data-gr-id="41">laning</g> of Delhi-Agra section of NH-2 expired on April 15, <g data-gr-id="37">2015</g> and the work is not completed so far, even the respondent 3 (concessionaire) was collecting toll tax from the users of the NH-2,” the plea said.
It also said that “the respondents despite charging toll tax from the users of NH-2, have failed to maintain the existing four lanes for users of the NH-2 and users of NH-2 are using the
bumpy road. Hence, the Respondent 3 has no authority to collect toll.”