Consider multi-level bus parkings, HC tells Delhi government

New Delhi, Dec 20 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the city government to consider building multi-level bus parkings at DTC depots, which would be vital to augment number of buses ferrying commuters on Delhi roads.

The court issued notice to the Delhi government and sought its response before January 22 next on a plea filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken for multi-level bus parking in the city.

The court will next hear the matter on January 22, 2018.

Instead of building new bus depots on new pockets of lands, the existing bus depots can be converted into multi-storeyed depots, Maken said in his plea.

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, along with advocate Aman Panwar, appeared for Maken and told the court that the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) report of May 17, 2016, had recommended multi-storeyed depots.

The EPCA had further opined that considering the money the Delhi government will spend on purchasing land pockets for new depots, investment should be made in converting the existing depots into multi-level depots, the plea said.

"The same will not only be more cost effective but also result in high dead mileage, due to the fact that the existing depots are centrally located compared with proposed depots outside city limits," it added.

"Hence, it will be in public interest that the existing land parcels of the Delhi Transport Corporation be converted into multi-level parking depots so that when more buses are purchased, there remains no shortage of parking space," said the Congress leader, who was the Transport Minister in Delhi in the erstwhile Sheila Dikshit government.

Maken also pleaded that the Centre and the Delhi government be directed to subsidise public transport, so that people are not encouraged to shift to private transport in the wake of Metro fare hikes.

Raising concerned over increased Metro fares, Maken said that due to faulty government policies, Delhi residents were discouraged from using the Metro service and other means of public transport and the situation was bound to worsen.

The dangerous levels of air pollution in Delhi is perhaps a unique issue which affects the health of all persons, irrespective of their financial status and the central and Delhi governments, with their lackadaisical attitude, are just shifting the blame on each other and not performing their statutory functions even at this stage of an 'environmental emergency' at the cost of millions of lives in the national capital, said the plea.

Maken has approached the court to seek impleadment in a pending writ petition that raised a similar issue.

The main petition was filed by Nipun Malhotra, who had challenged the Delhi government's move to procure 2,000 standard-floor buses at a cost of Rs 300 crore.

Malhotra had claimed that these were not equipped for wheelchair access and thus will directly and substantially affect about 2.34 lakh disabled people in the national capital.

The court had earlier refused to stay the procurement but slammed the Delhi government for not buying low-floor disabled-friendly CNG buses due to high cost.



Source: IANS