CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has declined to intervene against the collection of user fees (toll) at three toll plazas on stretches of the State Highway-10 while dismissing on Tuesday a PIL filed for it more than four years ago.
The petition filed by Sanjaya Kumar Nanda, resident of Sundargarh was listed just once on March 26, 2018 when an Additional Government Advocate appearing for the State sought time for instructions.
Thereafter, the petition was listed only on August 2, 2022. The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice RK Pattanaik said, “Although the counter affidavit was filed way back on April 27, 2018, there has been no rejoinder affidavit filed to contradict any of the replies. With the tolls having already been operational for over four years now and there is no interim stay, the Court is not inclined to interfere in the matter at this stage.”
In the affidavit the Superintending Engineer, North Circle (R & B), Sambalpur pointed out that a road corridor known as the “Biju Expressway” has been opened, which connects Rourkela to Jagdalpur in a stretch of 650.64 km. The said road connects eight districts, out of which, a stretch of 183.20 km has been developed by the National Highways and the State NH wing.
The PIL pertained to a part of the Biju Expressway having length of 162 km from Rourkela to Sambalpur and constructed under PPP mode with the project cost of Rs 1293 crore.