HC reserves verdict on plea for scrapping BRT
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday reserved its verdict on a plea for scrapping the 5.8-km-long Ambedkar Nagar-Moolchand Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor here, observing that the car users cannot be punished for not opting the public transport system.
"It is a wrong way of forcing people (car users and others who use personal vehicles) to shift to public transport system and discourage the use of private cars..," remarked a bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Manmohan Singh during the hearing.
The bench made the observation as Prashant Bhushan, appearing for another NGO favouring the BRT, submitted that "Unless they (car users) are punished, they will not shift to public transport system."
The slow moving traffic on BRT stretch created problems for car users and others, who do not opt for the buses and they cannot be punished to shift to public transport, the bench said.
The bench reserved the verdict after a marathon 4-hour hearing on the petition filed by NGO Nyaya Bhoomi.
During the hearing, the bench took note of the absence of Delhi government's counsel and senior advocate K T S Tulsi, saying "he should have been here to assist the court."
B B Sharan of NGO Nyaya Bhoomi, in his arguments, referred to a survey report of Central Road Research Institute on the functioning of the BRT here and sought its scrapping on the ground that it was harassing the commuters and was "complete wastage" of the public money.
Sharan also referred to the Delhi Master Plan to drive home his point that a dedicated BRT corridor cannot be implemented on narrow roads as it would hardly leave any space for other vehicles.
At the start of the proceedings, Justice Nandrajog asked the NGO to cite case laws to establish that the plea was maintainable.
"The decision is a policy decision of the executive. How can it be the subject matter of a PIL," it asked.
"Right to equality (in using the road space) has been infringed by denying the car and other vehicle users the requisite road space. 45 per cent road space has been eaten away by the BRT alone," Sharan replied.
The court earlier had reversed its earlier order and had allowed buses to ply again on lanes reserved for them on BRT corridors from September 15.
Prior to that, another bench, in the interim order, had allowed mixed use of dedicated BRT corridor on experimental basis.