Need to im­prove pub­lic trans­port be­fore odd-even rule: State to HC

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The state govern­ment on Thurs­day in­formed the Bom­bay high court (HC) that it was nec­es­sary to im­prove the pub­lic trans­port sys­tem be­fore un­der­tak­ing an ex­er­cise to reg­u­late the num­ber of ve­hi­cles en­ter­ing the city by in­tro­duc­ing the odd-even for­mula.

SK Nair, spe­cial coun­sel for the state, said the pub­lic trans­port sys­tem in the city is al­ready un­der tremen­dous pres­sure. “Be­fore do­ing any­thing else, we have to im­prove and en­hance ca­pac­ity of the pub­lic trans­port sys­tem,” he said. “On an av­er­age, each sub­ur­ban train car­ries 4,700 com­muters as against the ca­pac­ity of 1,600 and dur­ing peak hours. BEST buses carry as many as 12 pas­sen­gers per square me­ter, which is dou­ble the ca­pac­ity.”

Nair sub­mit­ted that the govern­ment has ap­pointed two ex­pert com­mit­tees to dis­cuss ways to en­hance ca­pac­ity of pub­lic trans­port and sought time to place be­fore the court their views.

Nair was re­spond­ing to two pub­lic in­ter­est lit­i­ga­tions (PILs) about the in­creas­ing pol­lu­tion in the city and con­se­quent de­crease in the air qual­ity in­dex. One of the PILs is filed by ac­tivist Shadaab Pa­tel, seek­ing in­tro­duc­tion of the odd-even for­mula to reg­u­late num­ber of four wheel­ers on roads in Mum­bai and im­prove the city’s air qual­ity in­dex.

CON­TIN­UED ON P9

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