SC chides Delhi government for not shifting Millennium Depot

New Delhi, Jan 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday chided the Delhi government for backtracking on its undertaking to shift the Millennium Depot, built on the flood plains of the Yamuna river to park the newly-acquired low-floor buses for 2010 Common Wealth Games.

Reminding the Aam Aadmi Party government that it was bound by an undertaking to vacate the Millennium Depot set-up on the flood plains of Yamuna, an apex court bench comprising Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R. Banumathi said that “800 buses were parked at the depot, 500 were moved out, 300 were left. You were supposed to move them out.
Noting that the DTC was given alternate land for shifting and parking the buses, the court said “master plan shows the area (on which Millennium Depot was constructed) as flood plain. You should have set-up temporary structure but you put-up permanent structures”.
Reserving the order on the issue, the court appeared clear that the Delhi government could not go back on its undertaking to move out of the Millennium Depot.
Referring to the minutes of the meeting held on January 15, 2014, the bench said, “Your chief minister says that the Millennium Depot would be vacated. This is your Secretariat. Are you arguing against your chief minister”?,
As the court was told that DTC needed more space to park its buses as it was augumenting its fleet of buses, the court said, “At present we are not concerned with the augmentation of the fleet.”
The Delhi High Court had on October 20, 2015, dismissed a plea by Delhi Transport Corporation seeking six more months to approach the DDA over its millennium bus depot.
Noting that DTC had told the court that it would vacate the site by October 31, 2014, the High Court on October 20, 2015, had said: “The present application filed for extension of time long after the expiry of the time initially granted is nothing but abuse of process of the court.”
In January 2014, the DTC gave an undertaking to the high court to relocate the depot to another location by October 31, 2014.
The depot was built on about 50 acres of land at a cost of Rs.60 crore for the 2010 Commonwealth Games at the Yamuna river bed.