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NHAI, Gurgaon expressway operator get time for talks


New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Thursday granted more time to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway’s concessionaire to settle their differences and consider an out-of-court settlement.

After the NHAI and Delhi-Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), which operates the expressway, agreed to resolve the differences, Justice S. Muralidhar granted them time till Sep 17.

Senior Advocate Sudhir Nandrajog, appearing for the NHAI, told the court that Aug 13 its board, having members from different central ministries, finalised the draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) and it was given to DGSCL Aug 17.

“The memorandum, including issues related to finance and facilities for the commuters, has been approved by the board and its decision is final. Now they (DHSCL) have to respond to it,” he said.

Senior Counsel for DGSCL Neeraj Kishan Kaul said that in response to the board’s terms and conditions we gave five suggestions to the NHAI chairman Aug 29 and they were under consideration and more time was required to reach a conclusion.

Kaul added: “Talks are still on and we are trying to narrow down the differences. Within a few days we will sort out the differences.”

The NHAI told the court earlier that its board had decided to hold a meeting to consider the proposals to settle the issues between the parties.

The relation between the two parties soured after the NHAI accused DGSCL of fraud in the form of refinancing the project without getting its approval.

DGSCL moved the court for a direction to stop the NHAI from taking any coercive action against it, including termination of the contract.

The highways authority, while ordering termination of its deal with the private firm, had accused it of failure to improve services at the 32-lane toll plaza.

The DGSCL approached the court after the NHAI issued a preliminary termination notice to it Dec 7 last year.