Delhi premium bus service: Registration yet to start, ACB probe begins

New Delhi: Registrations for app-based premium bus service scheme in the national capital could not start on Wednesday without the Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung`s nod even as the Delhi Anti-Corruption Branch initiated a probe following allegations it did not have LG`s approval and favoured a particular aggregator.

During the second phase of the odd-even scheme in the city between April 15 and April 30, to encourage private car owners to switch to public transport, the Delhi government had announced a policy for app-based premium bus service which was to be made operational from mid-June. Registrations for the same were to be started on June 1 (Wednesday).

According to the government officials, a notification of the scheme was issued on May 20, but the the lt. Governor did not give nod to the policy, posing a question on its implementation.

"The registrations for the service could not be started from today (Wednesday) in the city as LG did not give his nod to it and asked the chief minister to look into it again. But there is no stay on the policy," a government official told IANS.

Denying any wrongdoing, the official said: "Launching an ACB probe to the service is nothing but a conspiracy to delay the service which is aimed at providing world-class transport facility to the people of Delhi."

According to the ACB, the probe was initiated after a complaint was filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Vijender Gupta.

"We have initiated an enquiry into the matter after we received a complaint alleging issuance of illegal LG notification," ACB chief M.K. Meena told IANS.

"In his complaint he alleged that the government is favouring only one aggregator and no norms have been followed, and even the bus routes and the number of buses have not been decided," he added.

The complaint was filed with the ACB by the BJP leader on Tuesday night.

Addressing a press conference in the city, Gupta said: "The premium bus service notified by the AAP government was to provide huge financial benefit to the Gurgaon-based aggregator platform `Shuttl` at the cost of public exchequer."

He alleged that the Delhi government`s app-based bus premium bus service scheme hadn`t received a nod from LG.

Terming it a "breach of trust and an act of deceit", Gupta said: It calls for criminal probe into how the AAP government under the signature of Secretary-cum-Commissioner (Transport) could misuse LG`s name in this manner."

Lashing out at the city government, Gupta said: "The Delhi High Court has issued directions to the Delhi government that any cluster transport scheme should be placed before it prior to its implementation. But, the AAP government deliberately chose to violate the direction of the court and notified the scheme."

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