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Procure buses for Delhi on warfooting: HC to AAP govt

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

With the national capital gasping for breath, the High today termed the need for more buses in the city a "grave urgency" and said the needed to address it on a "war-footing". It noted that despite the passage of 19 years since a Supreme order, the of has not yet achieved the target set by the top A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar made the observation while declining to stop the from procuring 2,000 more standard floor buses for the people of the national capital. The bench reminded the about the Supreme Court's July 27, 1998 direction to augment the fleet of buses from 5,000 to 10,000. The also observed that if the government's recent odd-even scheme was to benefit the people, there was a need for a better public transport facility. "All the authorities have opined that major cause to air pollution was vehicles. So the should make an effort on warfooting to bring in more buses," it said, adding that "public life has to be protected as was unable to breathe". "Entire 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 was not willing to take steps to augment public transport here. The made the observation during the hearing of a PIL by a person suffering from locomotor disability challenging the government's move to procure 2,000 standard floor buses at a cost of Rs 300 crore. The declined to stay the proposed procurement and observed that if the needed buses, let it go ahead with this. "Look at the plight of People cannot breathe. There is smog even in the corridors of the high There is a grave urgency for more buses for the capital roads. Let them go ahead and purchase," it said. Emphasising on the need to improve public transport, the high also roped in Metro and Northern Railway in 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. The petitioner, Nipun Malhotra, has contended that the standard floor buses have higher steps and were not equipped for wheelchair access and thus, would "directly and substantially affect" about 2.34 lakh disabled persons in the national capital. The plea has contended that the has displayed "insensitivity" towards disabled persons as they were not consulted prior to taking a decision to procure the buses. It sought a stay on the procurement of the standard floor buses and directions to the to carry out a feasibility study by involving persons from disabled community. It has also sought directions to the to provide the rationale behind procurement of the "non-disabled friendly buses".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 14 2017. 19:02 IST