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  Metros   Delhi  15 Nov 2017  Procure buses for Delhi on warfooting: Delhi HC

Procure buses for Delhi on warfooting: Delhi HC

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 15, 2017, 6:05 am IST
Updated : Nov 15, 2017, 6:05 am IST

The bench reminded the Delhi government about the Supreme Court’s July 27, 1998 direction to augment the fleet of buses from 5,000 to 10,000.

Delhi High Court. (Photo: Twitter)
 Delhi High Court. (Photo: Twitter)

New Delhi: With the capital gasping for breath, the Delhi high court on Tuesday termed the need for more buses in the city a ‘grave urgency’ and said the AAP government needed to address it on a ‘war-footing’.

It noted that despite the passage of 19 years since a Supreme Court order, the government of Delhi has not yet achieved the target set by the apex court.

A bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C. Hari Shankar made the observation, while declining to stop the Delhi government from procuring 2,000 more standard floor buses for the people of the capital.

The bench reminded the Delhi government about the Supreme Court’s July 27, 1998 direction to augment the fleet of buses from 5,000 to 10,000. The court also observed that if the Delhi government’s recent odd-even scheme was to benefit the people, there was also a need for a better public transport 
facility.

“All the authorities concerned have opined that major cause to air pollution was vehicles. So the Delhi government should make an effort on warfooting to bring in more buses,” the high court said, adding that “public life has to be protected as Delhi was unable to breathe”.

“The city was unable to breathe. Look at your concern in area of education and health facility. We want the same for the public transport,” it said, adding that “every citizen is suffering”.

The bench also said that stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana alone cannot be blamed for the poor air quality in the national capital if the Delhi government was not willing to take steps to augment public transport here.

The court made these observations during the while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Nipun Malhotra suffering from locomotor disability challenging the Aam Aadmi Party  (AAP) government’s move to procure 2,000 standard floor buses at a cost of Rs 300 crore.

The petitioner has contended that the standard floor buses have higher steps and were not equipped for wheelchair access and thus, would directly and substantially affect as many as 2.34 lakh disabled persons in the capital.

The plea has also contended that the government has displayed insensitivity towards disabled persons as they were not consulted prior to taking a decision to procure the buses.

The high court also sought a stay on the procurement of the standard floor buses and directions to the Delhi government to carry out a feasibility study by involving persons from disabled community.

The petition has also sought the high court to issue directions to the Delhi government to provide the rationale behind procurement of the non-disabled friendly buses.

Tags: delhi high court, aap government