Expressway operator gave wrong figures, NHAI tells court

October 29, 2013

Aneesha Mathur : New Delhi,

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that the concessionaire of the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway had misrepresented the revenue collection from the toll booths.

“My fingers have been burned,” Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi, who is representing NHAI, said, while telling the court that his client had asked KPMG in July to carry out an independent verification of the daily traffic and toll booth collections, after “developing apprehensions that the concessionaire was misreporting collections”.

NHAI had issued a showcause notice to the concessionaire, Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL), after the auditor had reported inaccuracies in revenue figures.

During arguments, Sethi also alleged that after the showcause notice was issued, NHAI’s share of revenue from the toll booths had risen from Rs 1.22 crore in August to Rs 1.82 crore in September. “The revenue share for the NHAI jumped by 60 lakh,” Sethi said.

The NHAI had filed a criminal complaint against D S Constructions, DGSCL’s parent company, earlier this month, accusing the concessionaire of cheating and causing wrongful loss by under-reporting traffic at the 32-lane toll plaza.

Sethi also argued that despite an agreement between NHAI and D S Constructions, the concessionaire had refused to let NHAI staff man the booths.

Contending that the concessionaire should be “substituted with another eligible entity”, Sethi told the bench of Justice Manmohan Singh, “NHAI, as a receiver of the property, will run the toll business, until the time it identifies, evaluates and finalises a substitute concessionaire.”

The HC was hearing arguments on a plea filed by D S Construction against a notice issued to it by NHAI on December 7, 2012, to terminate the concession agreement which permitted the private company to run both the toll booths and the expressway.

NHAI had also accused concessionaire Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL) of fraud, claiming that the company had re-financed the project without NHAI’s approval. The highway authority had also accused DGSCL of failing to improve services at the 32-lane toll plaza.


Share your comments here: