The Supreme Court on Tuesday suggested some measures to back Arvind Kejriwal government’s odd-even road-rationing policy and advised the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to provide for “cosy premium seats” for the “rich, high and mighty” who cannot use their luxury cars during the on-going exercise.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said the corporation must explore the possibility of providing premium service where passengers can book seats in Metros by paying five-six times more than the normal fare.
“Car owners who are coming (to Metro) they must get some space to sit. Like, let us say some of the clients of senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi travel in big cars such as Mercedes and Toyota. But when such people are using Metro, why can’t you make suitable arrangements for more space,” the bench also comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice R Bhanumathi told solicitor general Ranjit Kumar and Delhi government counsel Rahul Mehra.
“You can have premium fares for such persons. Maybe you can increase the fare five- fold for such passengers. For instance if the fare is Rs 20 make it Rs 100 for such passengers for a dignified place to sit,” justice Thakur said. Singhvi had appeared for car manufacturer – Mahindra – that wants the top court to revisit its December 16 order banning registration of diesel cars with over 2000 cc engine capacity.
To make Metro travel comfortable for the common man, the bench advised the corporation to increase frequency of the trains. On senior advocate Harish Salve’s suggestion, the bench said the waiting time between two trains should be brought down from 3 to 1.5 minutes.
Metro stations have witnessed a surge in passengers after the odd-even formula kicked in from January 1. The first working day of the year – January 4 – saw around 35 lakh commuters using the Metro services.
The bench asked both the Centre and Delhi government to respond on the issue within four weeks and posted the matter for further hearing to February 2.