January 29, 2021 8:55:19 pm
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice to Punjab over a petition filed by the toll managing firm at the Ambala Expressway seeking directions to the Punjab Police to restore law and order in and around the toll plaza at Dappar.
The petitioner firm, GMR Ambala Chandigarh Expressways Private Limited, through its counsel, Advocate Nitin Thatai and Atul Sharma, have contended that the petitioner firm has been awarded the contract for improvement, operation, and maintenance including strengthening and widening of NH-21 (Ambala-Chandigarh Section) in the states of Haryana, Punjab on build, operate and transfer basis. It has been further contended that the petitioner started collecting toll from the traffic plying on the project highway with effect from December 10, 2008 at the toll plaza located at Dappar, Punjab and it has sole right to collect toll fee from the appointed date, and it has been also ensuring smooth and efficient maintenance, upkeep of the project highway as also the establishment. However on October 9, 2020 and October 10, 2020, protestors/trespassers participating in the ongoing protest against farm laws took over the establishment of the petitioner, they opened the boom barriers in all the lanes and switched off the entire toll plaza system. It has been alleged in the petition further that the protestors threatened the employees of the firm that they would take over the establishment at the Dappar and completely stop the collection of toll. Thus from October 12, 2020, onwards the protestors started giving dharna 24×7 on the toll plaza of the project highway at Dappar and obstructed the functioning of the toll plaza and stopped the entire toll management system.
The petitioner’s counsel has thus sought directions to Punjab to provide security to the petitioner and its employees working at the Dappar Plaza and remove any obstruction interference by any unauthorised persons in the business activities of the toll plaza.
The bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar, and Justice Archana Puri, after hearing to the matter, issued notice of motion to Punjab for February 24, 2021.
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