CHENNAI:The Metropolitan Transport Corporation and the TN State Transport Corporations of Villupuram and Salem divisions were directed by Madras High Court to clear the dues running to about Rs 6 crore to Essel Walajahpet Poonamallee Toll Road Private Limited at Nemili in Kanchipuram district within six weeks.
In case of failure, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and Essel, the concessionaire, are free to stop plying of the government buses, the First Bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh said on Tuesday.
Disposing of a writ petition from the company and passing interim orders on two more PILs, the Bench noted with regret that the government buses plying through toll gates have not been paying the mandatory charges as required as per the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules.
The dues as on date should be cleared by the State government within six weeks, failing which the NHAI and the concessionaire are free to stop plying of government buses. The rules would have to be strictly adhered to in respect of payment.
Private bus operators would equally be required to comply with the said rules, the Bench said and posted the matter for further hearing to March 19 for compliance.
NHAI senior counsel P Wilson told the Bench that his client, by a communication dated June 27, 2014, had asked the State government to pay the dues to Essel.
Meanwhile, passing further orders on two PILs, the Bench directed the Indian Road Congress (IRC) to carry out inspection at the toll plazas, as to whether the concessionaires have improved the facilities at the toll plazas, within four weeks. This followed a submission from NHAI counsel P Wilson and Essel counsel Goutham PS Raman that all necessary rectifications, as required by the report of the IRC, have been carried out and the IRC could conduct re-inspection to verify this aspect, failing which collection of toll could be suspended. The PILs alleged that the toll plazas have not provided basic facilities though collecting the toll.