The Delhi high court, which on Thursday refused to scrap the 5.8km bus rapid transit corridor (BRT), came down heavily on car users in the Capital.
The huge number of cars on Delhi’s roads needs to be brought down, the court said in its 24-page judgment, while dismissing a PIL demanding the scrapping of the BRT.
The judgment comes as a huge relief to the Delhi Government, which has proposed construction of 15 such similar projects across Delhi.Endorsing the government’s argument that "arrogance of car users was behind the whole campaign against this particular stretch," the court said drastic measures were required for traffic management in the city. It also made it clear that the interests of car users cannot be the priority.
“Excess number of cars on Delhi roads needs to be brought down… Journey time for cars will continue to increase even if there is no BRT because the number of cars and two-wheelers on the roads of Delhi is increasing by the day. Unless the BRT is accepted by the citizens of Delhi, the journey time for cars would continue to increase,” the court said.
The court was hearing a petition by Col. B B Sharan of NGO Nyaya Bhoomi that the reserved bus lane of the BRT between Moolchand and Ambedkar Nagar usually remained empty while the other lanes, meant for cars and other vehicles, were full of chaos with people being stuck in jams for hours.
“About 98% of the Central government grants under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission have been used by the Government of NCT Delhi in the expansion of roads, construction of flyovers and parking projects and in spite thereof (sic), there are cars, cars and cars and nothing else. The roads are bursting at the seams due to cars”, the court said.
“It is akin to the population of herbivores in a forest going beyond the sustainable limits of the forest requiring some kind of culling. And since in a democracy it is not possible to physically seize cars and destroy them, the only democratic solution would be to dedicate road space to buses, which would move quick and fast and this would act as an incentive for people,” said the bench.