Delhi High Court today asked DTC to vacate the 50-acre millennium bus depot, constructed on the banks of Yamuna for Rs 60 crore for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, by January 27.
Justice Manmohan directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to vacate the site by that date and said its Managing Director would have to be personally present in court on February 1 to explain if it failed to do so.
The court said since DTC has already been alloted substantial portions of land at four locations in the national capital to shift its buses and as it was not possible to change the land use of Millennium Depot site, the corporation will have to shift its buses as directed by the high court on September 1.
“The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has been filing periodic status reports from which it is apparent that as of today 8.25 acres of land has been alloted at Sarai Kale Khan, 10 at Narela, 16.33 at Anand Vihar and 20 acres at Rohini phase V.
“Though DTC in its reports has stated that some portion of land alloted has been encroached upon and land use has not been changed, yet the records indicate that substantial portion of land has been alloted,…” the court said.
It noted DDA’s claim that possession of the alternate sites has been handed over to DTC and the land use of the plots has been changed by way of notifications.
It also noted DTC’s claim that it has already shifted 500 buses from the millennium depot to other depots and were reconstructing old depots “to make them low-floor bus friendly”.
“In view thereof, this court is of the opinion that DTC has to forthwith comply with the order of September 13, 2012,” it said and added “this court directs DTC to vacate millennium depot in two month from today i.E on or before January 27”.
“In the event the site is not vacated on or before said date, the Managing Director of DTC shall be personally present on the next date of hearing,” the court said and listed the matter on February 1.
The order came on a contempt plea filed by environmental
activists Anand Arya and Manoj Misra who have contended that DTC has not complied with the high court’s order of September 13, 2012.
As per the high court’s September 13, 2012 order, DTC was directed to either get the master plan of Delhi (MPD) 2021 amended so that the depot can remain where it is or vacate the site.
Under the order, DTC was given six months time to comply. However, since the order was not complied with the contempt petition was filed.
The petitioners today told the court that as DTC has not complied with the 2012 order and neither honoured its own undertaking of January 2014 to shift from the site by October 2014, either the concerned officials be sent to jail or police be directed to get the site vacated.
Though the court expressed its willingness to direct police to vacate the site if it was not vacated in the given time, it did not issue any such direction after the lawyer for DTC said 500 buses have been shifted out and only 300 remained.
( Source – PTI )