‘DND toll could extend beyond 2031’
New Delhi, Oct 25 (IANS) Amid demands for making the privately-funded Delhi-Noida-Delhi (DND) Flyway toll-free, its Director, Monisha Macedo, has said that the contract for operating it can even be extended for two more years — beyond the stipulated 2031 — if it has not earned profits till then.
“We are trying to recover not only the cost of construction. Under the concessionaire agreement, apart from the cost, we also have to earn a return. After all, it’s a private investment that has happened,” Macedo told IANS.
Asked if the DND will be handed over to the government after 2031, Macedo said: “There is a clause (in the agreement) which says that up to 2031 even if it has not earned returns then it can be extended for two years of time on requesting the Noida administration.”
The DND Flyway – which is one of the better-run toll plazas – connects Delhi on the west bank of the Yamuna with Noida and East Delhi. It has witnessed several protests and demonstrations seeking scrapping of the Rs. 28 toll following allegations that the operator of the 9.2-km-long stretch (including the Mayur Vihar link) has already made significant profits.
“I think the allegations are not based on the facts that have been understood by anybody. The contract was signed between the Noida Authority and us. The allegations are coming from the people who are not aware of all the facts,” she said.
“This is a privately-funded contract that means there is nothing wrong in earning a return,” added Macedo.
Macedo, who has been associated with the Noida Toll Bridge Company for more than a decade, said: “If cost of construction is a figure, we could have crossed it but that’s not the point. The cost of construction includes the return, which has not been recovered.”
Speaking about some of the company’s recent initiatives, Macedo said that CCTV cameras with voice recording has been installed to keep a check on the behaviour of the toll collectors.
“All the booths have got the voice recorder cameras. There have been complaints by our users against the toll collectors. We do a lot of training, train our staff to be polite because it is a service industry,” said Macedo.
According to her, the company is also updating the technology for toll collection.
“What happens with technology is that after some years there is a limit to the data an old system can hold,” she said.
(Rupesh Dutta can be contacted at Rupesh.firstname.lastname@example.org)