Supreme Court directs authorities to start work on Delhi Metro Phase-IV project

Published: Jul 12, 2019, 14:45 IST | mid-day online desk

The bench was informed about an Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) report which said the project had been held up since 2014 when it was submitted to the Centre for approval

Supreme Court directs authorities to start work on Delhi Metro Phase-IV project
Representational Picture

On Friday, the Supreme Court directed authorities to start work on Delhi Metro's 104-km Phase-IV project which had been hit by a feud between the Central government and the Delhi government. A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta gave the ruling.

In the last hearing, the apex court was told that the project was "critical" and all pending issues should be resolved soon. The bench was informed about an Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) report which said the project had been held up since 2014 when it was submitted to the Centre for approval.

The EPCA report pointed out to a stalemate in the discussions between the central and Delhi governments due to different financial aspects of the project.

The Delhi government had said that Delhi Metro would not start work on Phase-IV till the issues related to operational loss, repayment of the Japan International Cooperation Agency's loan, sharing of land cost and taxes and more were resolved.

On Friday, the centre told the court that the funding for the project had been done as per the Metro Rail Policy of August 2017. The government also said that metro projects of other cities had been sanctioned on the same financial pattern as Delhi Metro Phase-IV.

On the other hand, during the first week of June, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced free rides for women in all DTC buses, cluster buses and Delhi Metro trains in order to provide a safe travel experience. The decision came days after ruling the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) suffered defeat and lost all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in the recently concluded general elections.

Congress and BJP leaders termed it as a publicity stunt. The BJP's Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari alleged that the AAP government's proposal to make metro and bus travel free for women is a "desperate bid to buy votes".

Attacking the Kejriwal government over an insufficient number of buses in the city, he said, "Around one crore women in the city will need 20,000 buses, but we have just 3,500-3,800. Where will they sit?"

The Delhi Congress dubbed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's announcement on Monday to provide free travel to women in public transport buses and Metro trains as a "publicity stunt" made in view of the coming Assembly elections. Read the full story here.

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