‘Exchequer does not incur loss due to non-collection of toll from certain vehicles’
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Thursday informed the Madras High Court that the general public exchequer did not incur any loss due to the non-collection of toll from autos with get together flags and people utilized by VIPs. The court docket was knowledgeable that non-public companies engaged for working toll plazas would have to bear the brunt in the event that they failed to acquire toll from such autos.
Filing an extra counter affidavit earlier than the primary Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy in response to a public curiosity litigation petition, the NHAI mentioned it collected a set quantity in the direction of day by day assortment from non-public companies engaged for toll assortment, and due to this fact, the query of the federal government struggling loss due to exemption granted to certain autos would not come up in any respect.
Since the PIL petition pertained to two toll plazas between the Tambaram and Tindivanam part of the Chennai-Madurai National Highway, the NHAI mentioned it had been gathering ₹29.18 lakh a day and ₹23.68 lakh a day from the companies, which had been authorised to acquire toll on the Paranur and Athur toll plazas respectively. The companies had been sure to remit the quantities quoted by them.
“As such there will be no loss to the government exchequer on account of allowing vehicles, if any, by the toll operator at his risk and cost,” the extra affidavit learn.
It was filed in response to a question raised final yr when the current PIL petition was heard by one other Division Bench led by Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, who feared that it would take many years to get well the capital value incurred for laying highways if many autos had been exempted from paying toll.
On Thursday, the litigant’s counsel, M.J. Jaseem Mohamed, contended earlier than the primary Bench, led by the Chief Justice, that the NHAI had indulged in “daylight robbery” by persevering with the gathering of toll at Paranur and Athur with none finish in sight. After listening to him for a while, the primary Bench granted him two weeks to provide you with precise particulars relating to the quantum of toll collected from differing types of autos on the two plazas.
The NHAI had already filed a foremost counter affidavit within the case final yr, stating that the gathering of toll on National Highways might not be stopped on the expiry of agreements entered with non-public concessionaires on a construct, function and switch (BOT) foundation. The authority mentioned it was entitled to proceed the gathering until the complete restoration of capital value of particular person initiatives, even when it took greater than three many years to achieve this.
Listing out a number of parts for figuring out the capital value of a venture, it mentioned: “The initially estimated year of capital recovery period or payback period of investment is always traumatised by unpredictable forces like the rate of inflation, change in rate of interest, change in pattern of traffic, alternative options and emerging technology, among other things.”
The court docket was knowledgeable that the NHAI had entered into an settlement with GMR Tambaram-Tindivanam Expressways Private Limited on October 9, 2001, for finishing up four-laning of the stretch on BOT (cost of annuity) foundation. The concession interval was 17-and-a-half years, together with the development interval of two-and-a-half years. The appointed date for the venture was declared on May 9, 2002, and as per the settlement, the concession interval expired on November 8, 2019.
However, between May 2005 and November 2019, the NHAI paid an annuity of ₹1,219.39 crore to the concessionaire on the fee of ₹41.856 crore each semester. Apart from this concession settlement, the NHAI entered into separate agreements with non-public entities for constructing toll plazas, working them and gathering toll.
Accordingly, person price assortment on the Athur and Paranur toll plazas started on April 1, 2005, and until November 30, 2019, solely ₹245.07 crore was collected from Paranur, and ₹203.84 crore from the Athur plaza.
Further, stating that the whole value incurred for executing the venture, listed to the yr of building, was ₹922.61 crore, the NHAI mentioned since solely ₹448.91 crore had been collected to date from the 2 plazas, the steadiness capital value of ₹473.70 crore was but to be recovered.