NEW DELHI: The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has red flagged the concessionaire of Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway for engaging new players for the operation and maintenance of the stretch without seeking its concurrence, a mandatory condition as per the contract.
The operation and maintenance includes tolling and incident management on the entire stretch.
The NHAI in a letter addressed to MCEPL on October 29 has said awarding such work without seeking concurrence of the authority is a “violation of the concession agreement” and prima facie contempt to a Delhi High Court order. “In view of the above, it’s requested not to give effect to the contract, if any, without following due process and submitting the draft agreement to the authority for concurrence and submit credential of agency, before finalisation, in accordance with the lender undertaking dated May 19, 2014.”
NHAI officials said they had not got any response from the concessionaire till Tuesday. They said if the concessionaire fails to give a satisfactory reply, then the authority has the option to serve a notice and ask why the contract should not be terminated. Even the independent consultant for the project has flagged this violation of concession agreement by MEPCL. It has recommended that the concessionaire should be asked to submit the draft agreement and credential of the new players.
Sources said the MCEPL contract with Skylark, which was carrying out operation and maintenance, has ended and now new players are carrying out these tasks.
The NHAI in its letter has also mentioned how non-submission of the draft agreement with new players and proceeding with the award of work without seeking its concurrence shall be treated as “material breach of the concession agreement” and the NHAI shall have the “right to suspend toll and also terminate the concession agreement” as per the contract conditions.
The MCEPL had floated three tenders on October 14 for toll collection, incident management and maintenance services. The contracts have been awarded.