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We can’t be forced to let Gurgaon freeway operator continue: NHAI

It also alleged that the KPMG report was incorrect.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi |
October 31, 2013 12:39:04 am

Continuing arguments against the concessionaire of the Delhi-Gurgaon toll plaza,the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Wednesday told the court that there had been a “fundamental breach of contract”,and it could not be forced to let the operator continue.

“The state is entitled to its contractual rights. If there is a breach of contract,the petitioner cannot restrain the state from exercising our contractual right,” senior advocate Sandeep Sethi told the court of Justice Manmohan Singh.

The High Court 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 agreement,which permitted concessionaire Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Limited (DGSCL),a unit of D S Construction,to run the toll booths and the expressway.

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“The concessionaire has also failed to maintain the expressway. Relaying of the surface has not been done and there are long queues at the plaza. There have been over 100 fatalities on the expressway in the past one year due to the concessionaire’s negligence,” Sethi claimed.

The lawyer referred to an audit conducted by KPMG,which he said had revealed that the concessionaire had “diverted toll revenue to its parent company” instead of giving a proper account to NHAI. “KPMG report estimated a loss of around Rs 34 crore over 10 months,of which Rs 17 crore was supposed to have been NHAI’s share,” Sethi said.

Referring to the KPMG report,Sethi also claimed that DGSCL was under a debt of over Rs 1,300 crore as it had failed to manage funds properly.

Meanwhile,D S Construction issued a statement on Wednesday evening denying all of NHAI’s allegations. It also alleged that the KPMG report was incorrect.

“The survey was done manually,so it is prone to human errors. KPMG did not employ the scientific and automated vehicle classification and counting (AVCC) system as stipulated in the concession agreement… The survey also incorrectly accounted for exemptions and run-through of traffic,which happen in various situations — residents forcibly passing through without paying toll,booms being opened by police,VIP movement,boom barriers being lifted on the breaching of the red line as directed by the P&H High Court,” the statement said.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi will submit his arguments on behalf of DGSCL.

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