100 more buses for city fleet by year-end

AS many as 100 buses will be added to Delhi's roads by this year-end under clusters 3, 4 and 5 to boost the public transport system and encourage people to travel more on city buses than private cars.

At present, 318 buses are plying under the public-private cluster scheme. Of these, 204 are operating under clusters 3, 4 and 5. But that's a huge shortfall considering that 862 buses were supposed to be in service in the three zones.

The government had claimed that 4,000 buses would be made available under the cluster scheme by the end of next year. Given the tardy procurement process, the target is a tall order.

But the government said it was committed to augment the city's bus fleet and has selected land to build depots to accommodate more vehicles.

"Around 18 buses are plying in cluster 2. The depot in Kushak Nallah is being prepared so that 214 buses can be launched by this year-end," a DIMTS spokesperson said.

A source said construction of a foot-overbridge near Kushak Nallah by the PWD could delay the process. "Work on the second overbridge could slow down construction of the depot for cluster 2. Another two months will be needed to complete the bridge," he said.

The second foot-overbridge is being built in front of gate number 4 of Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. This bridge had collapsed during construction days before the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

However, a senior PWD official said the foot-overbridge wouldn't come in the way of the depot project.

Other than the Kushak Nallah depot, DIMTS said another depot on 13 acres in Kair near Najafgarh to accommodate 300 buses was in the pipeline. "The clearance has been given. Another depot will come up at Tehkhand near Okhla with space for 80 buses. Besides, we are going to expand the Millennium depot and the one on Banda Bahadur Marg," the DIMTS spokesperson said.

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