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Non-contribution in Regional Rapid Transit System project

SC directs Delhi govt to furnish details of funds spent on ads

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NEW DELHI, July 3 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Delhi government for expressing its inability to contribute funds for construction of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project and directed it to furnish details of money spent on advertisements in the last three financial years.

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The funds were needed for construction of the RRTS stretch that will connect the national capital with Rajasthan and Haryana.

A bench comprising Justice S K Kaul and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia directed the AAP government to file an affidavit enumerating details of funds within two weeks.

The direction came after the counsel for the Delhi government told the bench that there was paucity of funds and expressed inability to provide monetary assistance.

“You want us to get into what funds you are spending where. All funds for advertisement shall be diverted for this project. You want this kind of order? You are asking for it,” the court said.

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“The Delhi government has expressed its inability to contribute funds for common project. Since paucity of funds is an impediment in this project, we call upon the NCT of Delhi to file an affidavit setting forth the funds utilised for advertisement as the project is of national importance. Details may be furnished for last financial years,” the bench said.

The top court had earlier directed the Delhi government to contribute Rs 500 crore from the Environment Compensation Charge (ECC) fund to the RRTS corridor being constructed linking Delhi to Meerut.

The semi-high speed rail corridor will connect Delhi with Meerut and the estimated cost of the 82.15-km stretch is Rs 31,632 crore. The corridor, with 24 stations, will cover the distance from Sarai Kale Khan in Delhi to Modipuram, Meerut in 60 minutes.

In its March 2019 order, the apex court had noted the contribution of the Government of India for the Delhi-Meerut RRTS corridor project is Rs 5,687 crore, that of Uttar Pradesh Rs 5,828 crore and the National Capital Region of Delhi Rs 1,138 crore.

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In its March 2019 order, the apex court had directed the Delhi Government to contribute Rs 265 crore, which included tax liability, from the ECC fund within 10 days. It had said the tax component was refundable and shall on refund be credited to the ECC fund.

Of the 82.15 km-long corridor, Delhi will have around 13 km with stations at Sarai Kale Khan, New Ashok Nagar and Anand Vihar.

Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri told Rajya Sabha in February that the Delhi government has not agreed to provide financial support for the Delhi-Shahjahanpur-Neemrana-Behror and Delhi-Panipat Regional Rapid Transit System corridors.





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