Communication gap between DDA, DTC on millennium depot is embarrassing: HC

The Delhi High Court on Thursday termed as "embarrassing" the "communication gap" between DDA and DTC regarding shifting of the 50-acre millennium bus depot from its current location on the banks of Yamuna here.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 09, 2014, 22:18 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday termed as "embarrassing" the "communication gap" between DDA and DTC regarding shifting of the 50-acre millennium bus depot from its current location on the banks of Yamuna here.

Observing that both authorities are at "loggerheads" in view of the accusations and counter-accusations being levelled against each other, Justice V K Shali requested the Lieutenant Governor (LG) to convene a meeting of officials concerned to resolve the issue.

"The fact of the matter is that there is a certain communication gap between the government organisations.... LG is requested to convene a meeting of concerned officials. Needful be done within six weeks from date of communication of order," the court said and listed the matter for hearing on February 11, 2015.

"All these accusations and cross accusations. It looks very embarrassing that the departments responsible are at loggerheads," the court observed.

While the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) said the only site, for relocation, that has been handed over to it is in Rohini where the access road is non-motorable, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has opposed the contentions.

DTC said the site at Sarai Kale Khan is being used for training drivers by the transport department and was to be shifted to Narela but the same has not been done yet.

DDA said it has already handed over to DTC three sites at Sarai Kale Khan, Narela (for shifting driver training institute) and Rohini to facilitate shifting of the depot and only the site at Karkari More near Anand Vihar here is left to be given.

The authority also said the road to the Rohini site is motorable and there is at present no need for metalling it till the depot is shifted there.

DTC, which is facing contempt proceedings, has to vacate the millennium bus depot by October 31.

The court, however, directed the Public Works Department

to initiate the process for metalling of the road.

It also noted DDA's submission that it will soon hand over possession of the Karkari More site to DTC.

On extension of time for shifting the depot, DTC said it will be moving an application for the same soon before the concerned bench, after the judge said that being a contempt of court case, it cannot extend the time which will expire on October 31 this year.

Earlier, Delhi government had told the court that it will take nine months to shift the depot built on Yamuna river bed at a cost of Rs 60 crore ahead of the Commonwealth Games held here in 2010.

Later, DTC informed that it will vacate the depot by October 31, 2014.

Accepting the need for a bus depot to cater to a large number of commuters, the high court had earlier granted to the city government time till March 12, 2013 to amend the Master Plan and change the use of the land from river and water body to transportation.

The order was passed on a plea of environmentalist Anand Arya through advocate Reena George against the depot being constructed on flood plain which was earmarked in the Master Plan for recreational activities like biological park etc.

Arya had said the clearance for the bus depot was given by the LG for construction of a temporary structure to be demolished after conclusion of the Commonwealth Games as it was being used for buses ferrying the athletes.

After the deadline of six months expired, Arya had moved a contempt petition.

The bus depot has parking space for around 1,000 buses besides various other facilities, including five workshop-cum-scanning centres, a logistic centre and two CNG-filling stations.