SC to hear plea against making DND toll free on Friday

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court will on Friday hear a plea by the NOIDA Toll Bridge Company (NTBCL) challenging the Allahabad High Court order making the Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) Flyway toll free.

A bench headed by Justice Anil R. Dave passed the order on Thursday after senior counsel Shyam Divan mentioned the plea for an early hearing.

The DND has become toll free following the High Court order on Wednesday against collecting the toll.

The verdict had come on a PIL, filed by the Federation of Noida Residents’ Welfare Association in 2012, challenging the “levy and collection of toll in the name of user fee by the Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd”.

It is estimated that about 1.5 lakh vehicle use DND toll bridge daily.

On Wednesday, a division bench of Justice Arun Tandon and Justice Sumita Agarwal declared that vehicles plying on the toll road need not pay the toll tax any longer, observing it was illegal and ordering the state government to ensure that it was not levied any further.

The DND flyway started operations in 2001. The nine-km stretch was built at a cost of Rs 407 crore and it is believed to have collected total toll tax amounting to Rs 2,000 crore already.

The NTBCL has been promoted by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) as a special purpose vehicle to develop construct, operate and maintain the DND Flyway on a “Build Own Operate Transfer” (BOOT) basis till 2031. The company said it will issue a reaction after looking at the judgement.

The DND Flyway is the shortest route between Noida and Delhi, the other routes being via the Nizamuddin Bridge and Okhla Barrage.