New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday accused the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority of working as an arm of the Central government after the Supreme Court appointed body submitted a special report to the apex court on the augmentation of public transport in Delhi.
Speaking to the media on the report, AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said in the last few days, there has been a lot of correspondence between the Centre and the Delhi government regarding the Metro Phase 4.
In this regard, the EPCA has also submitted a report to the Supreme Court.
Bharadwaj said that EPCA chairman Bhure Lal Ji, who is also known in connection with the ongoing sealing in Delhi, has been known to be a very good and strict official.
"But the manner in which the EPCA has sent its report to the Supreme Court, I have come to doubt this. On careful reading of the report submitted by EPCA, it becomes clear that the entire report is biased towards the BJP and the Central government," he said.
He said the Delhi government has made two assertions in connection with Metro Phase 4 after the Central government said the Delhi government should bear the entire cost of the land as well as the operational losses of the metro.
Terming this as "wrong and unfair", Bhardwaj said the land purchased for the Metro in phases one, two and three, was paid for equally by the Delhi Government and the Central Government.
"Any operational losses in the running of Metro was also borne by the Central government and the Delhi government."
He said the Centre is not taking into consideration the AAP government's view when it came to increasing Metro fares.
"When it comes to hiking Metro fares, providing free travel for women, the decision making lies squarely with the Centre. But when it comes to buying land for Metro Phase 4 and bearing operational losses, the Central government says Delhi government is liable. This is unfair and unconstitutional," said Bharadwaj.
He also said the report is threatening the reputation of EPCA chairman Bhure Lal Ji, that he had earned in his lifetime.
"In view of this whole episode, it appears that EPCA has become an arm of the Central government." Bhardwaj wrote to the Chairman of the EPCA and has requested him to consider the matter again.
"I sincerely hope that given the upright image Bhure Lal ji has, he will reconsider his view on this matter," Bhardwaj said.
The EPCA has sought the Supreme Court's intervention to break the stalemate between the Centre and the Delhi government that is holding up work on Phase-4 of the Delhi Metro.
The Supreme Court has asked the Centre and the Delhi government to come prepared with their responses on Friday, when the matter will be heard next.