Govt may be flout­ing 1998 SC order by not in­duct­ing buses: HC

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY | CAPITAL CHOKE -

New Delhi: There is “grave ur­gency” for more buses in the city and the AAP gov­ern­ment must ad­dress the short­age on a war foot­ing, the high court ob­served on Tues­day.

A bench of act­ing Chief Jus­tice Gita Mit­tal and Jus­tice C Hari Shankar put un­der scan­ner the con­stant short­age of buses meant for pub­lic trans­port, say­ing the au­thor­i­ties may be com­mit­ting con­tempt by fail­ing to ful­fill the tar­get set by the Supreme Court 19 years ago.

“All the au­thor­i­ties have opined that ma­jor cause to air pol­lu­tion was ve­hi­cles. So the Delhi gov­ern­ment should make an ef­fort on a war­foot­ing to bring in more buses,” it said.

The court’s ob­ser­va­tions came while hear­ing a plea on ab­sence of dis­abled friendly trans­port buses in the city. Ex­pand­ing the am­bit of its in­ter­ven­tion, HC re­minded the Delhi gov­ern­ment of the Supreme Court’s July 27, 1998 di­rec­tion to aug­ment the fleet of buses from 5,000 to 10,000.

It also re­fused to stop Delhi gov­ern­ment’s DTC from procur­ing 2,000 more stan­dard floor buses on the ground that these were not dis­abled friendly.

The court made the ob­ser­va­tions while hear­ing a PIL by a per­son suf­fer­ing from loco- mo­tor dis­abil­ity chal­leng­ing the move to pro­cure 2,000 stan­dard floor buses at a cost of Rs 300 crore. The court also roped in Delhi Metro and North­ern rail­way as par­ties to the PIL and sought their re­sponses on im­prov­ing and in­creas­ing their fa­cil­i­ties for the peo­ple in­clud­ing dis­abled per­sons.

The bench also sought the pres­ence of en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist Su­nita Narain on Novem­ber 23 to as­sist it in the mat­ter.

CM Arvind Ke­jri­wal has di­rected Delhi Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion (DTC) to fill va­cant posts as soon as pos­si­ble and a route ra­tio­nal­i­sa­tion study for the city’s bus routes has also been com­mis­sioned.

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