AIf Delhi Government buys the entire land for Metro, then it will be a burden on Delhi tax payers: Saurabh Bhardwaj

Centre will hike Metro fare, block the decision to make travel free for women, but land for the Metro will be purchased by Delhi government? Why the double standards: Saurabh Bhardwaj

*New Delhi,10 July 2019 *

Addressing a press conference at the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters, the party’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said that in the last few days, there has been a lot of correspondence between the Center and the Delhi Government regarding the Metro Phase 4. In this regard, EPCA has also submitted a report to the Supreme Court.

Bharadwaj said, “The Chairman of the EPCA Bhure Lal Ji, who is also known in connection with the ongoing sealing in Delhi, has been known to be a very good and strict official. But the mamber in which the EPCA has sent its report to the Supreme Court, I have come to doubt this. On careful reading of the report submitted by EPCA, it becomes clear that the entire report is biased towards the BJP.”

Bharadwaj continued, “Delhi Government has made two assertions in connection with Metro Phase 4. First, that the land purchased for the Metro in Phases One, Two and Three, were paid for equally by the Delhi Government and the Central Government. Secondly, any operational losses in the running of Metro was also borne by the Central Government and the Delhi Government in half and half. But it is very surprising that in the Metro Phase 4, the central government says that the Delhi government should bear the entire cost of the land as well as the operational losses. This is wrong and unfair.”

“When it comes to hiking Metro fares, providing free travel for women, the decision making lies squarely with the Centre. But when it comes to buying land for Metro Phase 4 and bearing operational losses, the central government says Delhi government is liable. This is unfair and unconstitutional,” said Saurabh Bharadwaj.

Questioning the EPCA’s working style, Saurabh Bhardwaj said, “On the one hand, the EPCA says that Metro is very important for Delhi, for reducing pollution level in Delhi. On the other hand, when Delhi Government proposes to construct 6 corridors for Metro, then EPCA says only three corridors should be constructed. When the Delhi government is ready to pay for 6 corridors, why the insistence on three corridors? Are the Lajpat Nagar to Saket, Indralok to Indraprastha, Rithala-Bawana-Narela Metro corridors not a need for the people of Delhi? The EPCA and the central government are both talking about just 3 corridors.”

“The Government of Delhi is entirely funded by the taxpayers of Delhi. Why does the central government want to burden the taxpayers of Delhi without giving them any control over the Metro itself?” asked Bharadwaj.

“In view of this whole episode, it appears that EPCA has become an arm of the Central Government. The reputation that the chairman of the EPCA Bhure Lal Ji had earned in his lifetime, has come under threat due to this episode,” said Bharadwaj.

Saurabh Bhardwaj has written a letter to the Chairman of the EPCA Bhure Lal and has requested him to consider the matter again. He said, “I sincerely hope that given the upright image Bhure Lal ji has, he will reconsider his view on this matter.”

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