Delhi High Court has asked the Union of India as well as the Delhi Government to consider the prospect of recommencing the services of Delhi Metro.
The order has come in a plea seeking a direction to the Central Government to permit the operation of public transportation in all the districts of Delhi.
While disposing of the petition, The Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad highlighted that metro rail services are a mainstay of the public transportation services in Delhi.
In today's proceedings, the Petitioner argued that the revised lockdown guidelines of both the MHA and the Delhi Government are not enough to meet the demands of the working population in Delhi.
'Over 49% of Delhi's population relies solely on public transportation. With limited capacity in buses and no metro services, there are bound to be people who are suffering due to lack of access to the public transportation system. This could lead to endangering their prospects for employment', the Petitioner argued.
Delhi Transport Corporation, on the other hand, submitted that the fleet of DTC buses and their frequency are adequately addressing the needs of public and further considerations are being taken to ensure the same.
Filed by law student Shreesh Chadha, the petition suggested that the government should frame guidelines to ensure safety and hygiene of the passengers and of those who operate the modes of public transportation.
As per the Petitioner, this can be done by setting up thermal scanning units, and other necessary equipment, to ensure that only those passengers who have not tested positive for the COVID19 virus are utilising the public transportation for permitted purposes.
It was highlighted by the Petitioner that the recent guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs have allowed government and private establishments to operate with limited capacity.
In order to relieve the burden off the economy, the Petitioner submitted that the government has also allowed plying of private vehicles.
The primary argument of the Petitioner was that the revised guidelines have ignored the large chunk of Delhi's population that heavily relies on public transportation to commute to work. This makes it near impossible for such persons to commute to work, while no hindrance is caused to those owning private vehicles.
This distinction, as well as the complete ignorance of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Road Transportation And Highways, and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on preventive measures in public transportation, as per the Petitioner, has rendered the MHA guidelines arbitrary, unreasonable and contrary to Articles 14,19 and 21 of the Constitution.
'The revised guidelines of the MHA have caused an unequal and disproportionate effect on people availing public transportation services to commute to their workplace, and hence, is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution', the petition states.