The Delhi High Court on Wednesday declined to order the Centre or Delhi government to resume the Metro services in the Capital, remarking that it was “too early” to pass such a direction. It said it was satisfied with the transport arrangements made for now.
Metro services were suspended from March 22, when the janta curfew was observed, and continued to be suspended since. In its latest guidelines, issued upon extending the lockdown till May 31, the ministry of home affairs did not allow resumption of Metro services.
The Delhi HC order came while disposing of a plea filed by law student Shreesh Chadha through advocate Prashant Vaxish, seeking the resumption of all public transport while mandating social distancing norms and also sought directions to the government to frame guidelines for ensuring the safety of commuters.
“It has been just two days since the new rules and regulations have come into force. It is too early in the day for learned counsel for the petitioner to urge that there is an inadequate supply of public transport for insisting that DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) must be directed to operate the Metro Rail in Delhi immediately,” the bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad said, while adding that the Metro was a “lifeline” of the city.
The counsel for the Delhi government told the court through video conferencing that transport services in the city had resumed. He gave the court an order issued by the city government on the resumption of the services of bus, autos and cab aggregators.
However, Vaxish contended that there were only 2,500 buses, which was not enough as the order said that the number of passengers in each bus would be no more than 20 to maintaining social distance. The other buses, he said, were being used to ferry migrant workers and essential service providers. He sought a direction to the Delhi government to hire more private buses as they had done during the time of odd-even scheme to control air pollution.
The Delhi government counsel said that there were adequate number of buses and pointed ouot that private and government offices have been told to allow their employees to work from home as much as possible. Similarly, all shops and market complexes were asked to open on an odd and even basis.
“As of now, there is adequate public transport that has been permitted to be operated by the Government of NCT to meet the requirement of the public at large. As and when the lockdown is further relaxed, the DMRC shall also be permitted to operate the Metro Rail in terms of the directions that may be issued by the Centre and the Delhi government subsequently,” the court said.
The court asked the DMRC to ensure that adequate steps are taken to maintain social distancing once the service is permitted.
Appearing for the DMRC, its counsel, in an affidavit told the court that the ministry of urban development and housing affairs (MUDHA), formed detailed procedures in case the Metro services were to resume.
The DMRC said that the commuters would be asked to sit or stand on alternative places to maintain social distancing, while stating that the dwell time at its stations would be increased to give time to the passengers to alight and board the train. The metro also said that all norms and guidelines issued by the Centre to maintain social distancing would be followed.
The Delhi government and DMRC spokespersons refused to comment on the matter.
This article has been taken from Syndicated News via RSS Feed, DelhiCapital has not made any changes or alterations while publishing this news. Original News Source – Hindustan Times