The Maharashtra government is concentrating more on improving public transport rather then on schemes to put restraints on private vehicles.
During hearing on a PIL seeking implementation of the Traffic Restraint Scheme (TRS) proposed by V.M. Lall in 2000, additional government pleader S.K. Nair told the court that the government was working towards improving public transport by increasing the number of coaches on local trains from nine to 12.
A division bench of Chief Justice Anil Dave and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari was hearing a PIL filed by NGO Bombay Environmental Action Group seeking implementation of the TRS formulated in 2000 to decongest the city roads.
Nair informed the court that more AC buses were being introduced to discourage people from using cars. A metro rail network was also coming up.
“Results will be seen in the next five years,” said Nair, adding that the schemes suggested by Lall were impractical.
“What is the point in saying after seven years that it [Lall’s report] is not maintainable?” asked Justice Dharmadhikari.
Nair said some schemes suggested by Lall required sophisticated machines and more manpower.
The TRS aimed at restraining traffic during peak hours. One of Lall’s recommendations was restraining plying of vehicles ending with certain numbers on a particular day in a week. This would help bring down the number of vehicles on the road on a daily basis.
For this, the state would require sensors and a lot of manpower. Besides, what was to be done about vehicles coming from outside the city, asked Nair. Such vehicles would have to be turned back as there was no parking space at any of the four entry points to the city, said Nair.
Shiraz Rustomjee, counsel for the NGO, argued that the government’s scheme of more flyovers and sea links only encouraged the public to use private cars.