‘Don’t politicise metro phase 4 funding’, SC tells State, Centre
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Delhi government and the Centre to not to politicise the issue regarding the funding of Delhi Metro’s phase-IV project as it was their “bounden duty” to contribute for development.
“Everybody should be responsible in such matters. It is your duty to contribute and act in public interest,” a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta noted. The dispute between Centre and the Delhi government over the sharing of cost for Metro’s phase-IV is pending before the bench.
The bench was upset with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) counsel for ‘refusing’ to yield to the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority’s (EPCA) suggestion to hand out 50%of its total share for the first phase of the project in which three corridors would be constructed.
Senior advocate AParajita Singh told the court that DDA can earmark Rs 2,500 crore for the first phase and this would settle the dispute over cost-sharing.
The DDA counsel told the court that the authority would release funds it receives from the Centre. At this, the bench remarked: “Your financial liability will not be enhanced. It is being channelised and even out. If you are under the impression that you are obliging us, then we can issue directions right now,” the bench said.
The court then asked the Delhi government, Centre, DDA and EPCA to submit a note on their submissions on the issue so that it can hear the matter at length on the next date.
The Delhi government said while it had approved all six corridors of the project, the Centre had approved only three and sought the court’s intervention. “They have not given any rationale for not approving the entire project,” senior advocate Dhruv Mehta said.
At this, the bench asked additional solicitor general AS Nadkarni to respond on the next date of hearing.