In a move that may trigger another round of confrontation, the AAP government has said Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung rejected a proposal to create dedicated bus lanes in the city. However, the L-G’s office has rebutted the claim.
“The Delhi government informs the residents of Delhi with regret that the Lieutenant Governor has declined to approve the proposal for dedicated bus lanes on Delhi’s roads and imposition of a fine of Rs 2,000 for violators of this rule,” said a Delhi government spokesperson on Wednesday.
The L-G’s office, however, said, it had not turned down the plan. “L-G has not declined or refused but has sought clarifications from the elected government, such as consultation with PWD as suggested by transport commissioner, since it is the road owning agency, and getting the notification duly vetted by the law dept. The L-G has asked to resubmit the proposal at the earliest, ensuring full compliance of order of Supreme Court,” a statement from the L-G office said.
An official said the Delhi government had prepared the proposal following a demand from the traffic police and on consistent orders of the Supreme Court and sent it to the L-G for approval.
The proposal was to create dedicated bus lanes and make it mandatory for buses to ply only in these lanes. The AAP government had also proposed a fine of Rs 2,000 for violation. The move was aimed at reducing congestion and encourage the use of public transport.
In a judgment on December 1, 1998 in the MC Mehta Vs Union of India and others, the Supreme Court had ruled: “They will also ensure that wherever it exists, buses shall be confined to the bus lane and equally no other motorised vehicle is permitted to enter upon the bus lane. We direct the municipal corporation of Delhi, NDMC, PWD, Delhi government and DDA, Union government and the Delhi Cantt. Board to take steps to ensure that bus lanes are segregated and roads markings are provided on all such roads as may be directed by the police and transport authorities.”
“It is unfortunate that the L-G has declined the proposal seeking enforcement of bus lanes and lane driving, stating that it is ambiguous,” the government spokesperson added.