HC asks whether metro project conditions were implemented

Directs Centre to examine whether State and BMRCL complied

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to appoint a responsible officer to verify whether the conditions, imposed when metro project for Bengaluru was sanctioned, were complied with by the State government and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) in letter and spirit.

The court also orally told the government counsel that it will not hesitate to stop the metro project if the Union government states that the State government and the BMRCL have not complied with the conditions to implement the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) and the Integrated Traffic Ratio Rationalisation Plan (ITRRP).

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Hemant Chandangoudar issued the direction while hearing a PIL petition filed by D.T. Devare and the Bangalore Environment Trust.

The bench also directed the Ministry to inform the court by March 20 what action it proposes to take against the State government and the BMRCL if it finds that they failed to implement these conditions in the already completed Phase 1 of the metro project.

The petitioners, while contending that it was mandatory for the State government to implement a CMP and ITRRP as they were preconditions imposed in the sanction letters and the memorandum of understanding singed between the Centre and the State government for both the Phase 1 and Phase 2, had alleged that these conditions were not implemented.

Earlier, when the petitioners’ counsel sought an interim direction from the court to stay the metro project and other infrastructure development projects in the city till the CMP and the ITRRP are in place, the bench questioned whether the petitioners were prepared to deposit the amount towards cost escalation in case the project is stayed. The counsel said that he will not seek an interim order to stay the project.

The bench adjourned further hearing till March 24 while directing both the State government and the BMRCL to file statements informing whether they have complied with the conditions imposed by the Union government.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 10:03:52 PM |

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