Delhi government can’t shirk its responsibility of contributing to RRTS: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday told the Arvind Kejriwal government that it could not shirk its statutory responsibility of contributing its share of funds to Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project linking Delhi with Meerut.

The reaction of a bench comprising Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Deepak Gupta came after the Delhi government told it that it did not have sufficient funds for the project involving Centre, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

The 82.15km RRTS corridor linking Delhi with Meerut is meant to decongest the national capital. The Centre has planned three RRTS corridors – Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut, Delhi-Gurgaon-Alwar and Delhi-Sonipat-Panipat at an estimated cost of Rs 31,902 crore. The Delhi government has to chip in with Rs 1,100 crore over a period of four years which it wants the Centre to pay as it doesn’t have adequate funds.

The apex court has directed the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) to convene a meeting involving Centre, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, to solve the problem within a week, and report back to the court.

The court also reminded the Delhi government that it can’t deny the people of Delhi rapid connectivity with Meerut. “Such projects can’t be at the mercy of any one government,” it said.

Friday’s hearing also saw Justice Mishra saying that initially, he had thought of staying in Delhi but changed his mind owing to toxic pollution and traffic congestion.

“Today, I was about to miss the swearing-in of the new judges”, Justice Mishra said, pointing to the terrible state of traffic congestion.

The court also asked Delhi government to state on record the schedule of the 3,000 buses that would be added to the city’s public transport system.

The court order came after Delhi government told it that 3,000 buses would be added to the public transport fleet by July 2019, said amicus curiae Aparajita Singh.

The court also gave Delhi government 10 days to come out with its parking policy which is being dealt with the Delhi government’s Transport ministry.

The court directed the listing of the matter for further hearing on February 1.