The Supreme Court on Tuesday (November 21) pulled up the Delhi Government for not fulfilling its assurance to allocate funds for the Regional Rapid Rail Transit System Project.
Expressing great disappointment with the stand of the Delhi Government, the Court passed an order to transfer the advertisement funds of the Government for the project. However, the Court kept the order in abeyance for one week, stating that it will come into operation if the Government does not voluntarily transfer the funds for the project within a week.
The bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia observed that there was “gross breach” of the assurances given by the Delhi Government.
The bench said that in April, they had specifically mentioned balance amount (Rs 415 crores) payable by Delhi Govt and directed the Government to pay the amount promptly. The bench also underlined the importance of RRTS project by saying that it has an impact on reducing pollution. The bench further noted that the budgetary allocation for advertisements for the last three years was almost Rs 1100 crores and for this financial year is Rs 550 crores.
“Budgetary provision is something which the state government should make. But if such national projects are to be affected, and against that, money is being spent on advertisement, we would have been inclined to direct those funds to be transferred to this project”, the bench stated in its order.
Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora, for the Delhi Government, sought for one week’s time. Justice Kaul said that the matter will be listed after a week, and if the fund allocation is not made in the meantime, then the order will come into operation.
“We have thus little option but to direct that funds allocated for advertisement purposes be transferred to the project in question. At the request of the learned counsel, we will keep this order in abeyance for a period of one week. If the funds are not transferred, the order will come into operation,” stated the order.
The Court passed the order in an application filed by the National Capital Region Transport Corporation (NCRTC) highlighting the breach of undertaking by the Delhi Government.
In July, the Government had undertaken before the Supreme Court that it will make budgetary provisions for the RRTS project, after being asked by the Court to show the budgetary allocations made for government advertisements.
“If INR 1100 crores can be spent for advertisement in the last 3 financial years, certainly, contributions can be made to infrastructure projects,” the bench led by Justice Kaul had observed then.
Previously, on being apprised that the Delhi Government is not making contribution towards the RRTS Project (Regional Rapid Transit System) due to budgetary constraints, the Apex Court had directed it to file an affidavit disclosing the funds used for advertisements in the last three financial years.