BJP to move Supreme Court against AAP’s failure to use environment cess as Delhi battles pollution

New Delhi: Accusing Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal of misleading the public over pollution in the NCR, the BJP on Friday said it will approach the Supreme Court over non-utilisation of green cess by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and thus "violating" court order.

"Our party will move a contempt plea in the Supreme Court on the issue of non-utilisation of environmental cess fund," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari told reporters.

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

Tiwari said the Delhi government had issued a notification on 20 October, 2015, in accordance with Supreme Court directive to impose the cess on all goods vehicles entering Delhi.

The government was expected to give quarterly accounts of the cess collected to the Supreme Court, he said.

The BJP leader alleged that the fund was to be used for improvement in public transport system, cleaning and repairing roads, but Kejriwal neither gave any record of collected funds to the Supreme Court not use the same for its intended purpose.

The AAP government has came under attack from opposition after a Right to Information reply revealed non-utilisation of Rs 787 crore collected as environmental cess in 2017.

The Delhi government, in a reply to RTI activist Sanjeev Jain, said it received Rs 50 crore in 2015, Rs 387 crore in 2016, and Rs 787 crore as environment cess from 1 January to 30 September in 2017.

The Kejriwal government said it had spent Rs 93 lakh of the cess in 2016, but there was "no mention of any expenditure" in 2017.

Tiwari also accused the ruling AAP of trying to privatise bus services in the city.

"The government tried to approve a proposal on privatisation in the name of a premium app-based bus service but was withdrawn due to strong opposition by the BJP," Tiwari said.

Leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said: "The Kejriwal government has announced several times to purchase new buses. But the operational fleet of Delhi Transport Corporation has depleted."

"DTC staff is facing difficulties in getting wages/salaries and the government is pushing the corporation into a financial crisis only for political gains," Gupta said.

Gupta alleged mismanagement in DTC bus depots and said that despite a parking space for about 1,500 buses in four rural bus depots at Ghumanhera, Dichaukalan, Narela, and Bawana, only 163 buses were being parked there.

Gupta said the government had put forth a proposal to buy 2,000 new buses but these will not ply on roads before December 2018.

Updated Date: Nov 17, 2017 19:16 PM

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