New Delhi, November 28
Asserting that there can be no partial compliance of its order, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Delhi Government to release funds for the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project in complete compliance of its directions as per the schedule approved by it.
The RRTS project — India’s first semi-high-speed regional rail service project — consists of semi-high speed rail corridors connecting Delhi to Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Alwar in Rajasthan and Panipat in Haryana. Being executed by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC), it is a joint venture between the Centre and the states concerned.
While the Delhi-Meerut project was already under construction and the Delhi Government agreed to pay its share of the costs, it refused to share the financial burden for the remaining two stretches, citing paucity of funds.
“You have to be arm twisted for the money which you are liable to pay. That is the problem. Why are you doing this? The issue is why you have not made budgetary provision. You can make budgetary provision for Rs 580 crore-odd for advertisements. But you can’t make budgetary provision of Rs 400-odd crore which you are supposed to pay,” a Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul told the Delhi Government counsel.
The Delhi Government counsel said the order has been partially complied with and an amount of Rs 415 crore has been released as per sanction order dated November 24 but it may not have been credited to the account of the NCRTC.
As advocate ANS Nadkarni, representing NCRTC, pointed out that the sanction order itself stated that it is in ‘partial compliance’, Justice Kaul said, “There can be no question of partial compliance. The complete compliance must take place as per the schedule.” The Bench – which also included Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia – listed the matter for further hearing on December 7.
“We will not look at it again and again. You don’t want to make budgetary provision… that is the problem. What you have to pay, you have to pay. That’s all we know,” the Bench said.
In an embarrassment to the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government in Delhi, the Supreme Court on November 24 ordered it to transfer Rs 415 crore from its advertisement budget for the RRTS project after it failed to honour a promise made to the court in this regard.
The top court had taken note of the fact that Delhi Government’s spending on advertisements in the last three years was Rs 1,100 crore and in the current financial year also, Rs 550 crore was earmarked for advertisements which was more than enough to cover its share of expenditure.
Transfer Rs 415 cr from ad budget
A Bench had on November 24 ordered the Delhi Government to transfer Rs 415 crore from ad budget for the project
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