After utilising the fixed deposits — grants from various sources — to upgrade the bus fleet in the capital, the Transport department on Tuesday said instead of adding more cluster buses, the department will run mini-buses in rural areas of Delhi.
Transport and Rural Development Minister Gopal Rai said 60 MLAs and regional managers participated in a meeting called by him and it was brought to the fore that due to lesser financial viability, buses don’t ply during the day in rural areas.
“The few buses that ply to rural areas, do so in the morning and late evening. The department has decided that it will buy around 1,000 mini-buses. These could be run by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) or by anyone who does not have more than 50 buses. These buses can also be made to ply in areas where the roads are narrow, where cluster buses are unable to reach,” Rai said.
Rai said the number of cluster buses cannot be increased as depots have briefed the Transport department that they do not have space for more buses. “We will demand land from DDA for setting up depots,” the minister said.
The department will also do a route rationalisation again. “We have come to know through our MLAs that there are areas where a number of buses ply at the same time and people are left waiting for buses for a long time after that. We will do a route rationalisation based on suggestions of MLAs and we will also consult the report prepared during the Congress’s tenure on the same,” Rai said.
Demands have come from Bawana and Ghummanhera bus depots for more buses and approximately 50 buses has been approved to each of these depots. The Transport department has also decided to transfer drivers according to proximity of their residences.
Senior citizens seats have been increased from two to four and the seats for the physically challenged and the visually challenged have been designated in the front of each bus. The government is also planning to have CCTV cameras on all buses soon.