ALSO READNGT seeks budget allocation details of sanitation workers Delhi gas leak: NGT issues notice to Centre, Delhi govt Garbage mess irks NGT; seeks explanation from Centre, Delhi govt Submit report on water supplied to Delhi households: NGT to Kejriwal govt Ban on plastic: NGT seeks status report from Delhi govt
The National Green Tribunal today took strong exception to the Delhi government's submission that the destination buses run by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were carrying "much less" passengers than their capacity, causing loss to the state transporter.
A bench headed by NGT Chaiperson Justice Swatanter Kumar slammed the AAP government for not "effectively" advertising about these point-to-point buses and asked it to use mass media like radio and newspapers to inform the public about the services.
"Why haven't you advertised about the destination buses? That your buses are not getting sufficient passengers gets published in the newspapers, but your advertisements are not visible.
"We are not going to stop this service. We will put this order down your throat. This service will not stop even if it is running at loss and you are not getting enough travellers. This order is to minimise the traffic of cars and lessen the congestion on roads and decrease pollution," the bench said.
The observation came after the counsel for the Delhi government told the tribunal that the occupancy rate of these buses was low.
He also sought stoppage of these services on Sundays and national holidays saying that there were no office-goers on these days.
However, the bench said "first show us what advertisements have you done in different areas to promote this service."
The DTC started running 20 point-to-point buses on as many routes starting from residential localities in the suburbs to office areas in central, south and northwest Delhi from May 1 after the NGT's direction.
Later, 20 more routes and buses were added to the list, taking the total number of destination buses to 40.
In the two-month period, the operation has proved non-beneficial as the buses are running empty and passengers have demanded more stops for them, a senior DTC officer had said.
Earlier, the green panel had directed the authorities to ensure that at least four buses each start on an experimental basis from far-off areas like Dwarka, Rohini, Janakpuri, Badarpur border and Patparganj and terminate at places like CGO complex, Nehru Place and Shastri Bhawan near Central Secretariat.
It had also sought a detailed status report with regard to the impact of these buses on reduction in pollution in the city and directed the authorities not to stop this service unless directed by the tribunal.
The apex environment watchdog had said the primary objective behind introduction of this service is to reduce the vehicular load including cars and two-wheelers on the roads.
The green panel had said these services will start from spots where it is convenient for the public at large.
The NGT had said it would facilitate an individual to opt for such a service, rather than driving a car alone on highly-congested roads.
It had directed the Delhi Transport Corporation to depute special officers from their circle who would be responsible for cleaning and maintaining these vehicles and ensure that the staff treats the passengers with respect.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)