NHAI to move SC against nod to build more toll plazas

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - Di­[email protected] times­group.com

New Delhi: An ar­bi­tra­tion tri­bunal’s ‘cre­ative’ in­ter­pre­ta­tion of con­tract con­di­tion in a high­way project, which has been up­held by the Delhi HC, has put the NHAI in a fix.

The tri­bunal has al­lowed the con­ces­sion­aire of Puducherry–Tin­di­vanam NH stretch to build an ad­di­tional “aux­il­iary” toll plaza on the stretch af­ter the pri­vate player claimed rev­enue loss due to ‘exit’ roads and cross roads near toll plaza. The tri­bunal has said the con­tract con­di­tion of “toll can be col­lected only at one toll plaza” does not mean there can­not more than one plaza on that stretch. The Delhi HC had dis­missed NHAI’s ap­peal against the the or­der.

Ap­pre­hend­ing that the or­der would have wider ram­i­fi­ca­tion across the coun­try and pro­vide a han­dle to con­trac­tors to seek more toll col­lec­tion points at all exit roads, NHAI has now de­cided to ap­proach the SC.

Sources claimed this “per­verse” in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the con­tract by the ar­bi­tra­tion panel can be­come an ex­am­ple for other high­way con­trac­tors to make sim­i­lar de­mand. Cit­ing an ex­am­ple, they said, one can imag­ine what will be the con­di­tion, if the Delhi-Gur­gaon ex­press­way con­ces­sion­aire is al­lowed to put toll plazas at all the ‘exit’ points be­tween Delhi and Kherki-Dhaula where the toll plaza is cur­rently lo­cated or any other stretch.

“They can have the same ar­gu­ment that a large num­ber of ve­hi­cles us­ing the road were not pass­ing through the toll plaza and hence they are los­ing rev­enue. And if we have to pay com­pen­sa­tion in ev­ery case, you can imag­ine the bur­den on NHAI,” said an of­fi­cial.

TOI has learnt that the con­ces­sion­aire of the Puducherry-Tin­di­vanam stretch had sought sought com­pen­sa­tion of Rs 58.3 crore from NHAI for toll loss since De­cem­ber 2014. Af­ter NHAI re­jected the de­mand, the con­ces­sion­aire sought ad­ju­di­ca­tion of its claims by an ar­bi­tra­tion tri­bunal.

Full re­port on www.toi.in

An ar­bi­tra­tion tri­bunal has al­lowed the con­ces­sion­aire of Puducherry–Tin­di­vanam NH stretch to build an ad­di­tional ‘aux­il­iary’ toll plaza

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