Solution for Toll Plaza on National High Way
Many are seeing the Delhi high court order as a blow to public private partnerships. What’s your initial reaction?
It is a win-win situation for all the parties. Public commuting between Delhi and Gurgaon will get huge relief. Those who are travelling from Delhi to Jaipur, etc will pay the consolidated toll at one plaza rather than two. The bankers will be able to recover substantial dues from the Kherki Dhaula plaza. If the economy does well, they have a chance of recovering their dues fully. NHAI will be free from claims of more than Rs 900 crores. DGSCL gets discharged and can concentrate on other business instead of fighting with NHAI and lenders.
Does that mean people going beyond Gurgaon will still have to pay the full toll amount? What happens to those living near Kherki Dhaula plaza?
Since we are doing away with the toll plaza on Delhi border, the traffic going beyond Gurgaon will have to pay for the entire 28 km stretch. Not just that, since we have deferred the toll revision for the past two years, the new player will also be allowed to revise rates as per the wholesale price index (WPI). However, to take care of the interests of local residents, concessional monthly passes can be issued.
Demands are being raised in various parts of the country to do away with the toll roads. How will you react to such demands?
We have not cancelled the contract. We have only renegotiated the agreement. This is one of the earliest concessions where a toll plaza had been erected in a highly congested area. This caused serious hardship to lakhs of people. Therefore, we have tried to find an innovative solution. Public private partnerships and toll roads are here to stay.
When will the toll plaza be dismantled?
We are waiting for MCD issue to be resolved. In any case dismantling is an issue between the concessionaire and IDFC.