September 25, 2023

Supreme Court Slams Delhi Government’s Delay in Rapid Rail Transit System Funding

Introduction:

The much-anticipated Rapid Rail Transit System (RRTS) project, aimed at connecting Delhi, Meerut, and Ghaziabad, faced criticism from the Supreme Court during a recent plea hearing on its delay. The Court expressed dissatisfaction with the Delhi government’s stance on not allocating funds for the crucial infrastructure project, especially after spending a substantial amount on advertising. The court’s scathing remarks prompted the government to submit an affidavit detailing its advertising expenses over the last three years, revealing a staggering sum of Rs 1073 crores. With the Delhi government now expected to contribute its due share to the RRTS project, the court has taken a stern stance, emphasizing the importance of ensuring smooth transportation for the people.

Supreme Court Questions Delhi Government’s Priorities:

During the plea hearing on the delayed RRTS project, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice SK Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia questioned the Delhi government’s allocation of funds. Citing the government’s claim of not having money for the transportation project, the bench raised concerns about the substantial expenditure on advertising campaigns. It posed a direct question to the government, asking why it couldn’t spare funds for a vital infrastructure project that would significantly improve public transportation.

Affidavit Reveals Massive Advertising Expenses:

In response to the Supreme Court’s query, the Delhi government filed an affidavit detailing its advertising spending over the last three years, amounting to a staggering Rs 1073 crores. The court recorded this information in its order, expressing its disappointment at the government’s reluctance to allocate funds for the RRTS project.

The Bench’s Firm Stand:

The bench highlighted the contradiction between the Delhi government’s claim of insufficient funds for the RRTS and its substantial advertising budget. Noting that the government spent around Rs 1100 crores on advertising, the court scolded the authorities for their inability to contribute to the infrastructural project. Justice SK Kaul firmly stated that the government should either pay the money required for the RRTS project or face the possibility of the Supreme Court attaching the advertisement budget.

Delhi Government Agrees to Payment, Seeks Instalments:

In response to the court’s stance, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, representing the Delhi government, assured the bench that the required funds for the RRTS project would be provided. However, he requested that the payments be allowed to be made in instalments over a specific period. The court acknowledged the government’s assurance and discussed a payment schedule, ensuring that the overdue amount would be settled promptly.

Conclusion:

The Supreme Court’s criticism of the Delhi government’s delay in funding the Rapid Rail Transit System project reflects the importance of prioritizing essential infrastructural developments over other expenditures. With the affidavit revealing massive advertising expenses, the court’s firm stand underscores the need for accountability and responsible allocation of funds to prioritize projects that benefit the public’s well-being. The development of the RRTS will significantly enhance transportation and connectivity between Delhi, Meerut, and Ghaziabad, and the Court’s intervention ensures that the project’s progress remains on track.