PIL against paying toll tax for incomplete facilities on Kalka Shimla NH: HC directs NHAI to file affidavit stating present status

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Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source internet

Shimla, March 17

In a matter alleging collection of toll in violation of the Rules of National Highway Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008, at Toll Plaza at Sanwara, District Solan, the High court has directed the National Highways Authority of India to file an affidavit stating present status of incomplete portion of approximately two kilometers stretch and construction of over bridge at the beginning of Parwanoo-Solan section. The Court also directed to inform the period of time they are likely to complete such construction. The Court has also directed the National Highways Authority of India to give details of the amenities and beautification along the Highway.

A Division Bench comprising  the Chief Justice, Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua,  passed these orders on a public interest litigation filed by one Adit Singal, alleging that the establishment of the Toll Plaza at Sanwara, District Solan, is illegal and contrary to the Rules of National Highway Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008. He has alleged that as per rules no Toll Plaza can be established in the same section within a distance of 60 kms, whereas another Toll Plazas are situated in Chandimandir, District Panchkula and at Parwanoo in District Solan within 60 kilometers from the Sanwara Toll Plaza.

He has also alleged that the completion certificate stating completion of 95 percent work has been wrongly issued in favour of M/s G. R Infraprojects by the National Highways Authority of India. He has alleged that the toll is being levied before completion of construction work and major part of the construction work of flyover and its under pass at Kumarhatti, Saproon and Timber Trail Resort at Parwanoo are not complete and will take months or may be a year or more to be completed.  The petitioner has alleged that the public is compelled to pay toll for incomplete facilities that too at exorbitant rates.

The petitioner has prayed to issue directions to forbear the respondents from collecting toll fee at its Toll Plaza at Sanwara. He has also prayed to quash the contract, construction completion certificate issued to M/GR Infraprojects by the National Authority of India and also to quash the notification fixing the toll charges payable by the vehicles crossing the subject Toll Plaza. The matter has been posted for 02.04.2022

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