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BJP Slams AAP for Not Providing Funds for Rapid Rail Project

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has slammed the Aam Adami Party (AAP)-led Delhi government for not giving funds for the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project. Not only the BJP, but also the Delhi Congress seems to be on the same page.

“The action taken by the Honourable Supreme Court to direct the Delhi government to transfer funds from its advertisement budget was a significant blow to the AAP government,” said Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, senior BJP leader. On 28 November, the Delhi government will have to explain in court what it has done in this direction.

Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, leader of the Opposition (LOP) in the Delhi Assembly, said: “The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government hasn’t released its share of money for the ongoing work of the Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS). This action indicates the priorities of Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi.” The LOP added, “This government is running only based on false propaganda, and there is no development work in its model.”

Bidhuri said that after the reprimand from the Supreme Court in July, the Delhi government had assured that it would contribute its share for the construction of the RRTS between Delhi and Meerut. During that time, the Delhi government claimed that they didn’t have funds, and then the Supreme Court warned them about seizing their advertising budget.

Bidhuri said: “It is surprising that even after giving assurance in the apex court, the Delhi government has not released funds of Rs 565 crore for this project this year. This is not only contempt of court, but also shows how the Delhi government is acting recklessly and against the rules. Therefore, the court had to decide that if funds were not released within a week, then the advertising budget would be seized.”

Bidhuri further said: “It is not the first time that the Delhi government has neglected development projects. Earlier, they didn’t contribute to the construction work on peripheral roads. Moreover, they have also not contributed their 20% share to the Pragati Maidan tunnel, which was built for Rs 1,000 crore. Despite this, the Modi government completed these construction works for the benefit of Delhiites.”

Bidhuri said that since the Supreme Court has taken a tough decision regarding the matter, the Kejriwal government will now have to mandatorily provide funds. “This action of the AAP government opened the eyes of the public. Delhiites had now realised how this government was misleading them through false propaganda. This government only considers false propaganda as the model of development.”

Meanwhile, the Delhi Congress has also joined the BJP and blamed the Delhi government for not making its financial contribution to the RRTS project, as “it shows their disinterest in improving public transport and containing air pollution”.

Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh Lovely said: “It is shocking that the Supreme Court had to scold the Delhi government for non-payment of the state’s contribution to the Rapid Rail project and threatened to transfer Delhi’s advertisement funds to the project if the Delhi government did not fulfil its financial obligation to the Rapid Rail project.”

He further said that public transport in Delhi is in a shambles, and the Delhi government should fully cooperate with the Rapid Rail project, as the timely completion of the project will be a huge relief for the hassled commuters of Delhi. Lovely said that since the DTC and cluster bus fleets fell far short of Delhi’s requirements and the Metro Rail project was running over five years behind schedule, there was no possibility of public transport improving in the capital any time soon, for which the Delhi government was responsible.

On the other hand, the Kejriwal government has blamed the Finance Department on the issue. The Kejriwal government has said that it had sent the funds file to the finance department a month ago, but it’s the Finance Secretary who has delayed in approving the funds file.

The Kejriwal government has said: “We welcome the Supreme Court’s directive. It is clarified that the first tranche of funds (approximately Rs 80 crore) was released several months ago, and the remaining funds were awaiting clearance from the Finance Secretary.”

The Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System, also called Delhi-Meerut RRTS, is 82.15 km long. This under-construction corridor will connect Delhi, Ghaziabad, and Meerut.

Source: The Sunday Guardian