Delhi HC declines to quash Delhi Metro fare hike decision

Delhi HC declines to quash Delhi Metro fare hike decision
Delhi HC declines to quash Delhi Metro fare hike decision

The Delhi High Court today refused to interfere with the Delhi Metro’s decision to increase mass rapid transit fare by 100 per cent.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also observed that this was a policy decision and the court would not like to step into it.

“We are not inclined to interfere with it (the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) decision. Neither do we have any jurisdiction to go into it,” the bench said, adding that the petitioner had not even approached the authorities with his representation.

Amer Vaid, a second year law student, had moved the court challenging the recommendations of the fourth fare fixation committee (FFC) of the Delhi Metro to increase the fare by 100 per cent.

Seeking quashing of the recommendations, which were ffected in two phases (May and October), the plea said the increased fares were in contravention to the previous norms of the FFC, wherein, the distance zone was reduced from 15 to six km, leaving citizens of the national capital region in a “detrimental situation”.

The plea said the increase in fares inordinately led to a situation where passengers travelling distances differing by nine km were made to pay the same amount which was unfair and unjust.

The bench, however, was of the view that why couldn’t the authorities charge their fare.

It directed the law student to make a representation to the Delhi Metro which would take a view and communicate to him immediately.

The revised fare structure was: up to 2 km – Rs 10, 2 to 5 km Rs 20, 5 to 12 km Rs 30, 12 to 21 km Rs 40, 21 to 32 km Rs 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km Rs60.

Smart card users, who, according to the DMRC’s estimates, happen to be 70 per cent of the metro’s total ridership, would continue to get 10 per cent discount on each ride.

They would get an additional discount of 10 per cent while travelling during off-peak hours, that was from the beginning of services till 8 am, between 12 pm and 5 pm and from 9 pm to the end of the services.

( Source – PTI )

Metro projects do not require prior EC:MoEF to NGT

Metro projects do not require prior EC:MoEF to NGT
Metro projects do not require prior EC:MoEF to NGT

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have informed the National Green Tribunal that Metro Rail projects are not required to seek environmental clearance.

The Environment Ministry told a bench headed by Justice U D Salvi that Railway projects and Metro Rail projects are not within the purview of 2006 Environmental Impact Assessment Notification and therefore prior Environmental Clearance was not required.

“The government of India, Ministry of Urban Development (Metro Rail Cell) vide Office Memorandum dated May 22, 2009 has sent a Cabinet note to the Ministry of Environment and Forest and that the MoEF have vide Office Memorandum dated June 2, 2009 responded to the Cabinet node stating that the Metro projects are not required to seek Environmental Clearance under EIA Notification…

“In view of the above, the construction of the Metro line from Noida to Greater Noida does not require an EC and it is respectfully submitted that the construction is in accordance with the Office Memorandum dated June 2, 2009 issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest,” an affidavit filed by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said.

On the issue of extraction of ground water, the DMRC denied that any ground water was being extracted for the construction of the metro project.

An application has been submitted before Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) for extraction of ground water which is currently pending for consideration, it said.

“It is submitted that DMRC which is executing agency for the Metro project and CEC-SAM India (NC-03) which is joint venture which has been allotted the tender for construction of the line are presently using STP treated water for construction of project which is supplied on regular basis,” DMRC said.

The affidavit was filed in response to a plea filed by environmentalist Vikrant Tongad seeking directions to Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) to obtain environmental clearance for its project from Noida to Greater Noida after conducting proper Environment Impact Assessment.

Tongad had stated that the metro from Noida to Greater Noida will pass through Hindon and piers would be constructed on the river bed which can significantly harm aquatic habitat of the river.

( Source – PTI )

DMRC, Police rapped for failure to compensate for stolen bike

DMRC, Police rapped for failure to compensate for stolen bike
DMRC, Police rapped for failure to compensate for stolen bike

A city court on Thursday rapped the Delhi Police and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for not compensating a man whose bike was stolen from the parking area and warned of coercive action for non-compliance of its order.

The directive of the court, which gave them a “last opportunity” to compensate the man, came after it noted that both DMRC and police have not complied with its May 7 order directing them to pay a compensation of Rs 20,000 each to one Vivek Srivastava for theft of his bike from the Kalkaji Mandir Metro station parking in October 2010.

“Taking note of the fact that more than one month has elapsed since the order of compensation dated May 7, 2015, one last opportunity is granted to both Delhi Police and DMRC to strictly comply with the said order, failing which this court shall be constrained to take coercive measures including issuance of warrants of attachment against both authorities,” Metropolitan Magistrate Arvind Bansal said. The court also sought compliance report of its order from the Police and DMRC by July 30.

During the hearing, the police submitted that it was in the process of challenging the order while DMRC said it required some more time to decide whether to comply with or challenge the order. In its May 7 order, the court had noted that “negligence on the part of DMRC and lapse at the end of Delhi police caused victimisation of complainant who not only lost his means of conveyance but also obtained nothing from the insurance company. The loss suffered by complainant can definitely be compensated in monetary terms.” “The burden of such a compensation to the tune of value of motorcycle at the cost of harrassment suffered at the hands of public authorities should be placed upon the ones at the fault that is DMRC and Delhi police,” it had said.

The court had noted that although Srivastava had informed the police about the theft of his bike from the metro station parking area on October 25, 2010, the FIR was registered on November 17, 2010. The court had observed that DMRC was under a bounden duty to take reasonable care of the vehicles parked in its parking. “If the parking was not operational for any reason within or without control of DMRC, it was expected from DMRC to put necessary sign boards clarifying that parking at an unattended parking site of a metro station shall be at the risk of owner of vehicle,” the court said.

The magistrate had also directed the Joint Commissioner of Police to take action against a Delhi police inspector for failing to lodge the FIR within stipulated time after being informed about the theft of bike by the complainant. The court also noted that due to the delay in lodging of the FIR, the insurance firm had refused to pay the insured amount to the complainant citing delay.

Police has filed two closure reports in the case saying that neither the bike was traced nor was there any clue about the accused. The court had rejected both the closure reports and directed the police to conduct further probe.

In his statement recorded in the court, the complainant had said he was not satisfied with the probe and did not have any hope of getting the bike back after five years.

Trains from 5 a.m. to 12 p.m. enough: Delhi Metro chief

Delhi Metro Chief Mangu Singh ruled out services for longer time each day. He said the last trains routinely reach depots at midnight, and the first leave a little before 5 a.m.

Speaking at the Patel Chowk Metro station on the sidelines of a function at the Metro Museum, Singh said: “The last train is at 11 p.m., but by the time it reaches its destination, it is about midnight. Similarly, in the morning, though 6 a.m. is the scheduled time, trains start plying since 5 a.m., so there is no need for increasing the timing.”

According to Singh, “People don’t know the detailed timing of the Delhi Metro. People usually think that the service is from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. We want to tell them that our service begins a little before 5 a.m. and ends around 12 p.m. For example, the earliest train starts at 4:51 a.m from Dwarka Sector 21 to Rajeev Chowk. And the last train starts from Rajeev Chowk around 11:45 p.m. towards Yamuna Bank.”

On increasing the number of trains in the night service after 11 p.m., he indicated the enormous losses such a move might cause: “Hardly three to four passengers commute in the trains during late hours,” Singh said.

Earlier, following requests of women activists and college students, Delhi’s Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna asked Delhi Metro to consider the request to begin services from 5 a.m. instead of 6 a.m. and extend night services from 11 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.

Talking about women’s safety in the Metro, Mangu Singh said the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which provides security personnel to Delhi Metro, is deploying more women personnel.

Singh also said, “The CISF has increased patrolling inside the train and in stations. We are conducting periodical inspection at the stations. We are also checking whether areas outside Metro stations are well lit to ensure the safety of passengers.”

The Metro chief also said that more eight-coach trains would be deployed on the HUDA city center-Jahangirpuri line.

“The eight-coach trains will be increased on Line 2 (HUDA city center-Jahangirpuri), which has high commuter traffic. We are also increasing the frequency of Metro trains on Saturdays, as there is an increase in the number of riders.”

Singh said that more commuters have started to use the Metro services from Central Secretariat to Badarpur.

“The number of riders has picked up on Line 6 (Cental Secretariat to Badarpur) so we will have more trains on that route,” According to him.

Delhi Metro, the city’s lifeline, daily ferries nearly 1.8 million passengers over 2,700 trips.

Supreme Court orders status quo at excavated site near historic Jama Masjid

Pulling up a legislator for taking the law into his hands, the Supreme Court ordered status quo over a structure built near the excavated remains of a purported Mughal-era mosque near the historic Jama Masjid.

An apex court bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice J. Chelameswar asked all the parties to maintain status quo till Thursday when the matter would come up for hearing.

The court order on status quo came on the petition by Delhi legislator Shoaib Iqbal challenging the Sep 19 Delhi High Court order directing the demolition of the structure in Subhash Park.

The high court Sep 19 reiterated its July 30 order, directing the demolition of a wall constructed allegedly by Iqbal and his supporters for what they called protecting the purported mosque, whose remains were discovered during digging by Delhi Metro.
Ordering status quo.

“We would like to hear the views of the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India, the Delhi government and the Union of India and, thereafter, we will go into the details.”

The court pulled up Iqbal and said: “Why did you take the law into your hand? You think that you can do anything you like. Why did you do that. Duty is not cast upon you to do illegal things.”

Chief Justice Kabir slammed Iqbal when senior counsel Anoop Chaudhari, who appeared for Iqbal, mentioned the matter in the post-lunch session in the court.

Chief Justice Kabir said to Chaudhari “You could have taken injunction but you take law in your hand”

The senior counsel urged the court to rule that the wall built to protect the mosque’s remains be preserved till the high court decided the issue. Chaudhari told the court that no activity was going on at the site.

On a poser, the court was told that it was a public land and was being used as a park.
Iqbal in his petition contended that the demolition of the wall may lead to “communal violence, disruption of peace and harmony through out the country…”. He said that this was also the view of police.

Some residents claim that the excavated remains are that of the 17th century Mughal-era Akbarabadi mosque. The high court has asked the ASI to verify the claim.

 

By PTI

Delhi Metro shuts four stations

Four Delhi Metro stations in the vicinity of the prime minister’s residence here were shut from 3 p.m. Thursday on the orders of the Delhi Police, an official said.

 The stations are Udyog Bhawan, Race Course and Jor Bagh on the Huda City Centre-Jahangirpuri corridor and Khan Market station on the Central Secretariat-Badarpur stretch.

 ‘They (police) have said the closure is due to security reasons,’ the Metro official said.

 Services on all other stations will run normally, he added.

 Hazare and fellow activist Arvind Kejriwal Thursday morning appealed to supporters for a peaceful protest in front of the prime minister’s house from 5 p.m.

Fifty protesters have been detained so far from Manmohan Singh’s residence at 7, Race Course Road, police said.

 Sources said the move might be aimed at preventing people from protesting in front of Singh’s residence.

 Hazare’s supporters have been protesting in front of the prime minister’s house in batches since Wednesday. They have also demonstrated in front of the houses of several MPs.

MCD restrained from removing Delhi Metro’s hoardings

The Delhi High Court Thursday restrained the removal of Delhi Metro’s outdoor advertisements by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

The court also asked the Delhi Metro to submit a report every four months before the MCD which has been demanding a share in the revenue collected from the advertisements.

The tussle between Delhi Metro and the MCD over the sharing of revenue from hoardings has been continuing for the last many years.

The MCD claimed that the outdoor advertisements put up by Delhi Metro were in violation of the civic law which prohibits public advertisements without the municipal commissioner’s permission.

The Delhi Metro refuted the MCD claim saying that the union cabinet permitted it to display advertisements on its property. It also argued that the MCD had no right to demand revenue or regulate advertisements put up on its property.

The MCD has been issuing notices to Delhi Metro to remove all advertisements and hoardings from pillars and bridges.

The MCD said that the law allows it to have 50 percent share in the revenue of the advertisements.

According to law, the MCD is entitled to 50 percent share of the revenue from advertisement when public land is used commercially by any entity.