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Why can’t Delhi Metro provided free basic services like drinking water and sanitation to travellers at the metro stations, Delhi High Court asked on Monday. When the counsel for DMRC submitted that they were giving water at the stations at a nominal charge of Rs one per glass and also adding better services each day, the court rapped the corporation saying it was behaving like this as it had no competition.
“What services you are giving? Where there is no competition, there is no service. If you get a competitor, you will give all the facilities. Why are you charging even Rs one? You should give drinking water for free,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Kush Kalra, a commuter, complaining that Delhi Metro does not provide toilets, drinking water and dustbin facilities at any of the stations.
The court granted time to the petitioner to file an additional affidavit and listed the matter for August 21.
During the hearing, advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for the petitioner, argued that Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was charging Rs one per glass of water, whereas it should be provided free.
The DMRC was even charging commuters for using the toilets and had removed dustbins from the stations, he said.
To this, the DMRC counsel said they have been adding better facilities for commuters day-by-day and only taking nominal charges for their services.
Earlier, the court had directed DMRC to indicate on affidavit how many toilet and drinking water facilities were available at metro stations and whether the amenities were generally accessible to commuters.
DMRC had earlier told the court they were not providing dustbins at “every metro station” but only in inter-change stations like Rajiv Chowk, Kashmere Gate, Mandi House and Inderlok etc, because of security reasons.
It had said it has provided toilet facility for commuters at 138 metro stations but there are 11 metro stations where there are no such facilities due to lack of space.
Kalra in his plea has also sought direction to the government and DMRC to provide clean drinking water, dustbin facilities and toilets in the future projects of metro.