Gurgaon e-way revenues up Rs 60 lakh a month says NHAI

October 29, 2013

Abhinav Garg & Dipak K Dash, TNN |

NEW DELHI: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) told the Delhi high court on Monday that revenues from the 32-lane toll plaza on Gurgaon expressway increased by Rs 60 lakh in a single month after it commissioned a survey to monitor collections.

The highway authority said the KPMG survey, which estimated the traffic volumes on the road, proved that the private concessionaire operating the expressway “can’t be trusted” because it had been under-reporting traffic.

“The operator is receiving money but not accounting (it). We found that the handheld devices with which they collect toll during peak hours are not connected to the main server for escrow accounts. Same is the case with extra toll booths they set up. This money was not accounted for,” senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing NHAI, claimed before Justice Manmohan Singh.

Sethi said once the survey findings were filed in HC and a show cause notice on underreporting of traffic issued to the private operator,Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), “our revenue for September, collected in October, increased by Rs 60 lakh.”

The KPMG survey, which has been refuted by DGSCL, had claimed underreporting of vehicles causing a daily revenue leakage to the tune of Rs 15.58 lakh during August 2012 and July 2013.

When Justice Singh asked if the authority was open to “finding a cure” to the dispute if, for arguments sake, the operator was willing to refund the amount allegedly siphoned, Sethi replied in the negative. “All that is now history. We can’t repose our faith in the operator. We have learnt from our mistakes,” the counsel said, making it clear that NHAI was not interested in a settlement with the firm.

On being further prodded by the court, the counsel claimed despite interventions by various authorities, commuters continue to suffer as DGSCL has not implemented reforms nor is it trying to improve traffic flow. Answering the court’s apprehension on the future of the toll plaza if it sanctions termination of the contract, NHAI indicated it will operate it till it finds a suitable replacement. The court will hear DGSCL’s defence on Friday.

“We have strongly refuted the KPMG survey findings and would take this up in the court as well in the next hearing,” the DGSCL spokesperson said. “The survey was done manually which is prone to human error and did not employ scientific and automated vehicle classification and counting (AVCC) system as stipulated in the concession agreement and neither did it correctly account for exemptions and run-throughs of traffic.”

Regarding the variation of toll revenues across months, the spokesperson said traffic volumes and revenues in the festive months of September and October were always higher than the holiday and monsoon months of July and August.

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