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The Delhi government has decided to add 6,000 buses to the city’s roads and augment the public transport system — one among the many decisions taken on Thursday as part of its air pollution control measures.
The decision, taken during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, is one of the government’s measures to improve public transport in light of its odd-even vehicle scheme.
“We will engage 4,000 additional CNG buses (contract carriage permits) from January 1 to augment the existing fleet… The transport department has also arranged for an additional 2,000 buses, which ferry school children, between January 1-15. In 2,000 of the total 6,000 buses that will be added to the Delhi Transport Corporation’s fleet, 50 per cent seats will be reserved for women to ensure that they do not face any problem in commuting from their homes to places of work,” said transport minister Gopal Rai.
The contract buses will have their own drivers while conductors will be provided by the DTC. A committee — which includes the special commissioner (transport), managing director, DTC and school bus union representatives — has been set up to determine the fare. Route charts of private buses will also be displayed at bus stations.
Rai added that the transport department will allow auto-rickshaws to ply in double shifts — owners will be authorised to give their autos on rent on a shift basis to drivers who have valid licences. Issues like refusal to ply or overcharging will be discussed with auto-rickshaw and taxi unions at a meeting on Friday, he said.
Rai also said the government’s Pooch-O App will be relaunched by December 25. All auto-rickshaw drivers, with or without smartphones, have been asked to update their contact details on the app.
Satyendar Jain — the nodal minister who heads the steering committee on the implementation of the pollution control measures — said discussions have been held with officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. It has been decided that Metros will operate at their peak capacity from January 1, he said.
Rai said they will also hold talks with the union railway minister to strengthen the local train network so that at those living close to railway stations can have alternative means of transport.
Govt cracks the whip
Head of the steering committee for enforcement of pollution control measures and PWD minister Satyendar Jain said the government had decided to crack down on those violating pollution norms:
> All under-construction sites with a built up area more than 20,000 sq mt will be visited weekly by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) officers
> DPCC to submit report in a week on no. of batch-mixing plants operating in Delhi and inspect them for dust control
> Sub-divisional magistrates to submit action-taken report on inspections on dust control at construction sites within 7 days
> Assistant engineers of PWD to be delegated with powers to inspect construction sites with built up area between 400 and 20,000 sq m.
> NGT may be requested to delegate government to constitute district-wise courts for deciding on violations reported regarding dust control at construction sites
> Necessary changes to be made to Swachh Bharat App by urban development department, to enable receiving complaints on dust at construction site
> Display boards to be installed at construction sites on steps to be taken for dust control
> Municipal corporation to submit action-taken report on trucks carrying construction material
> For burning leaves in parks and gardens, the concerned section officer (Horticulture) of municipal corporations and DDA to challaned
> If material is burned alongside roads, concerned corporation sanitary inspector and DDA to be challaned
> If burning activity is observed in O-zone of Yamuna, DDA chief engineer to be challaned