A commuter on the metro does not have a right to free drinking water, the Delhi High Court on Monday said while disposing of a lawyer’s plea seeking toilets, drinking water and dustbins at all the stations in Delhi. Justice Vibhu Bakhru said the petitioner has a right to drinking water, but not free drinking water.
The order came after the court noted the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s (DMRC) submissions on affidavit that there were 128 water dispensing kiosks and over 200 shops in the stations where water was available, but at a price. DMRC, represented by advocate Jatan Singh, said there were ‘PILO’ mobile outlets outside 35 stations where drinking water is sold at Rs 2 for 250 ml and Rs 5 for one litre.
It said it proposed to award contracts for setting up 64 more ‘PILO’ mobile outlets and it was only the newly constructed stations, numbering around 15, where drinking water was not available. Regarding toilet facilities, the DMRC said it was available at 130 stations and where the facility was not available, commuters could use the staff toilets in case of an emergency.
The court directed the DMRC to put up appropriate signages in this regard to inform commuters. On the issue of dustbins, the Delhi metro said it was earlier not installing them due to security concerns, but now it was proposing to put in place transparent bins at the stations. The court said dustbins have to be provided as it was a necessity in public places like the metro stations.
It directed the DMRC to install the dustbins immediately outside the stations if it was not possible inside. With these directions and observations, the court disposed of the plea by lawyer Kush Kalra. Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for the petitioner, had earlier argued that water should be provided free of cost.