The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought response from the city government on a public interest litigation against the withdrawal of DTC bus services from schools. A bench headed by Justice Acting Vipin Sanghi issued notice to the city government and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) on the petition by social activist Baba Alexander and asked the respondents to place on record the material which led to the decision and noted that private schools had been using DTC buses for decades as means of transport for students.
The bench, also comprising Justice Navin Chawla, further observed that the parents as well as the students were suffering due to the withdrawal of the DTC buses and that the decision is also leading to more traffic on the roads. Delhi government lawyer Sameer Vashisht stated that only private schools were using DTC buses for their students and the arrangement was contractual in nature.
He informed the court that more buses were needed for the public and the private schools were free to use other private carriages for transporting their students. You can’t take advantage of Covid situation. Schools are also transporting childrenChildren are also public. Nobody is saying that you do it for free. You produce your record to justify your decision, the court stated.
(The decision to withdraw DTC buses from schools) has led to children and parents suffering as the responsibility of transporting the children has fallen on the parents. This is also leading to more traffic on the roads. Issue notice, said the court. The petitioner has contended that the withdrawal of DTC buses from schools without any justifiable reason has caused deep sense of agony and disappointment among the parents and also impinges on the right to clean environment under Article 21 of the Constitution.
In the petition filed through lawyer Robin Raju, Deepa Joseph and Blessan Mathews, the petitioner has stated that the decision would increase vehicular pollution and traffic woes. The decision also causes anxiety to parents and increases their financial burden as they would have to pay more in the name of transportation charges at a time when COVID-19 is still around, it added. The matter would be heard next on August 3.