SDMC yet to find new toll operator, old contractor may continue for some time

SDMC yet to find new toll operator, old contractor may continue for some time

The South Corporation hopes to work out an arrangement with the toll operator controlling border entry points till a new contractor is engaged.

The Supreme Court had allowed the current contractor to exit his contract by the month-end as he was running into losses because of a recently imposed green tax.

The concessionaire might continue to collect charges from the vehicles entering Delhi until the new collector comes on board, said Radhey Shyam Sharma, chairman of the Standing Committee of South Corporation on Wednesday.

The South Delhi Municipal Corporation is in the process of floating a tender to engage a new concessionaire for a nine-month period.

“We are planning to get the new contractor by January 31, but in case there’s a delay of 10 to 15 days, we will ask the current toll tax concessionaire to continue to collect toll tax from the commercial vehicles entering Delhi,” said Sharma.

The current concessionaire, SMYR Consortium, collects toll tax from 124 border entry points.

It moved court after it was asked to collect an additional environmental compensation charge by the South Corporation, the nodal agency for the collection of toll tax in Delhi in November.

“We asked the contractor to collect the green tax on the orders of the Supreme Court. The concessionaire moved court saying its contract didn’t mention collection an additional environmental compensation charge,” said Sharma.

“But the court directed the contractor to collect the green tax. It started collecting Rs 700 and Rs 1,300 from vehicles from November 6. After a month or so, the concessionaire claimed there is a drop in the number of vehicles as the trucks are not entering Delhi,” he added.

Even the corporation started getting less payment per week. The contractor was supposed pay altogether Rs 541 crore a year to the three municipal corporations.
“The collector was supposed to give over Rs 10 crore per week but it started paying less citing drop in the number of vehicles. So the court allowed him to discontinue with its contract on January 31,” he said.

“Though the collector claims that there is a 40 per cent decline in the number of vehicles, the civic agency conducted a survey at Badarpur toll points and DND and found that there was a only a 20 per cent reduction.”

After waiting for one year, the SMYR Consortium was awarded a three-year contract starting May 2015.