SC refuse to stay Allahabad HC order on DND flyway
The SC announced that the Delhi-Noida flyway would remain toll-free; the court has also asked the Comptroller and Auditor General to verify the project's cost of construction. The Supreme Court had earlier refused to stay an order by the Allahabad High Court that restrained authorities from collecting toll on the Delhi-Noida flyway; it said it would pass a verdict after Diwali.
The Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway
The Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway (DND Flyway) is an access-controlled, tolled expressway; it connects Delhi to Noida. It spans 9.2 kilometres and is an eight lane highway. The Noida Toll Bridge Company Ltd. (NBTCL) is responsible for having built the DND Flyway and is also responsible for maintaining it. The DND Flyway opened to traffic from both directions in 2001.
First of Its kind
During the construction of the Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway, a Citizens Committee was formed. The job of this community was to supervise any environmental threats or issues being caused during construction. The World Bank noted this feature as 'the first of its kind'.
One day after protests, DND Flyway remains toll-free
The Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway remained toll-free a day after BJP leader Nawab Singh Nagar led protests demanding the same. On Sunday, hundreds of protesters forced the toll bridge employees out of their posts to let the vehicles pass through for free. Under the banner of Janhit Morcha, the protesters claimed to not give up until the end of their indefinite sit-in.
About the protest
Since the last one month, several meetings have taken place at Nawab Singh Nagar's residence in Sector 33; the final framework was provided to the protest at Saturday's meeting. The Janhit Morcha has further plans to create awareness through street meetings, pamphlet distribution etc. Organizations like Crime Free India Force, Noida Entrepreneurs Association, Noida Transport Associations, Kisan Union etc. engaged in Sunday's protest.
No Political Motivations
"This protest is to fight corruption. The Noida toll bridge company spent Rs.183 crore for its construction. They claimed they used over Rs.400 crore, but even that cost has been covered. Now they are just continuing to loot people." said Nawab Singh Nagar.
Reasons for the protest
The indefinite protest has been organized against the Noida Toll Bridge Company Limited's irregularities and consistent victimization of the toll users. Nawab Singh Nagar has alleged that the authorities have been lying about the money spent on the project. He also stated that the NTBCL has earned more money through tolls than the overall expenditure undertaken in constructing them.
Usage of the Expressway
On an average day, about one and a half vehicles use the Delhi-Noida-Direct Flyway, with each vehicle having to pay Rs.30 as toll.
According to a DND spokesperson
Monisha Macedo, a spokesperson of the DND Flyway pointed out that the property is a privately-owned facility having over 80,000 shareholders. "People with vested interests have stopped toll collection activities even though Section 144 (ban on large gatherings) is in force in Noida. Such activities cause concern among investors about public money in PPP Projects and the infrastructure sector in the state/country," she said.
Allahabad HC reserves judgement on Delhi-Noida flyway
On 8 August, a bench of the Allahabad HC reserved its judgement on a PIL that sought to keep the Delhi-Noida flyway toll-free.