'If Rs 1,100 crore can be spent for advertisements...': SC to Delhi govt on infrastructure funding
It directed the Delhi government to clear an amount of around Rs 415 crore for the rapid rail project, and recorded that the overdue amount will be paid within 2 months
The Delhi government on Monday agreed to make budgetary provisions towards fulfillment of its share for construction of the Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project after the Supreme Court earlier raised eyebrows on its expenditure on advertisements.
“If Rs1,100 crore can be spent for advertisement in the last 3 years, certainly, contributions can be made for infrastructure projects,” remarked a bench of Justices S.K. Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia.
It directed the Delhi government to clear an amount of around Rs 415 crore for the rapid rail project, and recorded that the overdue amount will be paid within 2 months.
"If you have money for advertisements, why don’t you have money for a project that will ensure smooth transport?” questioned the top court in the last hearing after Delhi government’s counsel had said that there was a paucity of funds.
The court had indicated that, if required, it may also order to divert the funds allocated for advertisement towards the completion of the rapid rail project. The observations were made by the court when the Delhi government had informed that it had no finances available for contribution of its share of funds towards the semi-high-speed rail corridor being constructed to connect the national capital with the cities of Ghaziabad and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
"The Delhi government has expressed its inability to contribute funds for the common project. Since paucity of funds is an impediment in this project, we call upon the NCT of Delhi to file an affidavit setting forth the funds utilised for advertisement as the project is of considerable importance. Details may be furnished for last three financial years," the court had ordered on July 3.