SC seeks DMRC’s reply on EPCA report

SC seeks DMRC's reply on EPCA report

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has sought response from DMRC on a report by Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) which has flagged the issue of “last mile connectivity” and lack of adequate parking for taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws at metro stations.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta has issued notice to DMRC on EPCA’s report which also said that lack of demarcated parking for taxis, three-wheelers and cycle-rickshaws at places like metro stations and inter state bus terminals “greatly add to congestion and problems for commuters”.

The report, which was filed in the top court, said that last mile connectivity is a “critical agenda” for Delhi as connectivity, particularly from metro stations and other multi-transport points, would greatly reduce the need for private transport in the city.

“Let notice be issued to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) with respect to report….submitted by EPCA with respect to technology for parking management and plans for last-mile connectivity,” the bench said and posted the matter for hearing in November.
The EPCA report said “para-transit vehicles” like taxis, auto-rickshaws and cycle-rickshaws need free parking spaces at key public transport points like metro stations.

“So, while there is a need to improve the pedestrian infrastructure and increase buses, there can be better use of para-transit vehicles for last mile connectivity,” it said.

“But the fact is that today, multi-modal integration (MMI) is inadequate and so without parking spaces at the metro/inter-state bus stations, the para-transit vehicles taxis, three-wheelers and cycle-rickshaws greatly add to congestion and problems for commuters,” it said.

It said that design of metro stations have to incorporate the need for parking of these vehicles but this has not been done as design and control of road space over and above the station infrastructure is not within the purview of DMRC.

EPCA said they have discussed this issue with DMRC and other concerned officials.

“DMRC has identified 38 stations of phase 1 and 2 (out of total of 126 stations) as most congested and with need for urgent design changes for multi-modal integration (MMI). Out of these, plans for Chattarpur, Kashmiri Gate and Jahangirpuri stations are in various stages of implementation. But there is need to expedite this process and to ensure that all 38 stations are re-designed for MMI at the earliest,” it said.

It said DMRC has made plans for all its 78 stations in phase III for MMI and it is working to provide lanes for auto-rickshaws, buses, car parking and for drop-off.

“During the meeting it was discussed that these plans are also in various stages of design, approval and implementation. However, it was clear that there is a need to expedite this work, including the approvals for design and finance,” the report said.

The EPCA urged the court to direct DMRC to submit a time schedule for implementation of MMI plans for 38 stations of phase one and two and 78 stations in phase three.

The issue has cropped up before the top court which is hearing a matter relating to air pollution in Delhi-national capital region. PTI

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