New Delhi: The Delhi High court on Wednesday disposed off the plea seeking resumption of public transport including Delhi Metro stating that as and when the lockdown is further relaxed, DMRC shall also be permitted to operate the Metro Rail in terms of the directions that may be issued by the governments.
The court said that it shall be the duty of the DMRC to ensure that adequate steps are taken to maintain social distancing once the Metro Rail is permitted to function, particularly, since DMRC has become the lifeline for the citizens of Delhi and the NCR region and invariably, the compartments are packed to the gills, which can be dangerous in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.
“We may note that it has been just two days since the new rules and regulations have come into force. It is too early in the day for learned counsel for the petitioner to urge that there is an inadequate supply of public transport for insisting that respondent DMRC must be directed to operate the Metro Rail in Delhi immediately. As of now, there is adequate public transport that has been permitted to be operated by the Government of NCT to meet the requirement of the public at large. As and when the lockdown is further relaxed, the respondent DMRC shall also be permitted to operate the Metro Rail in terms of the directions that may be issued by the respondents subsequently,” the court said.
Advocate Virendra Sood appearing for DMRC had refers to the counter affidavit filed and the details furnished in relating to the SOP formulated by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, UOI for Metro operation after restoration of the Metro services.
On the last date of hearing, the high court had observed that the Centre’s 1 May notification allowing private offices to run with 33 per cent strength, discriminates against those without their own vehicle as no provision was made for such persons to commute to work during COVID-19 lockdown.
Centre today informed the court that as per the new lockdown guidelines, certain activities like metro services remain prohibited throughout the country.
PTI contributed to this story.