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We tried to find an innovative solution: NHAI chief

February 20, 2014 | By

NHAI chairman R P Singh 

rp singh

The removal of the toll plaza on Delhi-Gurgaon expressway is not just a historic occasion for the capital and its favourite suburb,but also the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI),which fought the legal battle to set a precedent for all public-private partnerships that developers cant get away without delivering the services.The Delhi high court order has come at a time when people are protesting against tolling within the cities and on unfinished roads.
In an exclusive interview,NHAI chairman R P Singh says the government and its agencies have been able to find a solution that will work for all stakeholders.Excerpts: 

  • Many are seeing the Delhi high court order as a blow to public private partnerships.Whats your initial reaction 

Its 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 (the expressway operator) 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 toll roads.How do you react to it 

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.

  • Whenll the toll plaza be dismantled 

We are waiting for the MCD issue to be resolved.In any case,dismantling is an issue between the concessionaire and IDFC.


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