Toll plaza issue: IDFC may submit plaza plan in court, all eyes on Delhi HC

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NEW DELHI: With the lead banker for the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway likely to submit a settlement plan before it, all eyes are now set on the Delhi high court which will take up the case on Monday. The Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC), the project’s lead banker, has already had a round of talks with senior officials of the Road Transport and Highways ministry and NHAI.

Everything will depend on what the IDFC submits in its affidavit, which it has not shared with any of the government agencies, said NHAI officials. They said the top officials have already told the IDFC that they can only agree to the proposal of removing the 32-lane toll plaza at Delhi border. If that’s not acceptable to the lenders, the government would prefer to buy back the project by terminating the contract, which has so far been the government’s first option. In that case, NHAI would have to pay about Rs 140 crore to the consortium of the bankers led by the Housing and Urban Development Corporation.

Recently, IDFC chairman Rajiv Lall had told TOI that the project lenders will be submitting an affidavit in the Delhi high court for “satisfactory settlement of the case along the lines that has been under discussion for some time.”

Earlier, IDFC and the expressway concessionaire, Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), had submitted a joint-letter to the NHAI stating that DGSCL will leave the project, paving way for a new player to operate the expressway corridor.

Soon after, the Delhi high court had given a fortnight’s time to both NHAI and IDFC to submit a complete settlement proposal, including removing the 32-lane Sirhaul toll plaza.

The NHAI and DGSCL have been embroiled in a bitter legal dispute after the authority issued a termination notice to the expressway concessionaire over frequent complaints of inordinate delays and chaos at the toll plaza. The NHAI also found irregularities in the manner in which the DGSCL had raised loans from IDFC and other financial institutions.


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