It was refurbished about three months ago but the bus operation at the inter-state bus terminus at Kashmere Gate is yet to resume. The reason being while the transport department hired Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS) to renovate the three decade old building, it failed to factor in that it would require daily maintenance.
Since DIMTS will pull out as soon as the operations begin, the transport department has not let buses operate and has kept the building locked. However, petty thefts have become a regular feature at the ISBT. Sanitary and electrical fittings go missing very often.
Concerned, the transport department has now started hunting for an agency that could be given the job of maintaining the building.
Delhi transport minister Ramakant Goswami, however, said the building will not be kept locked for the want of a maintenance agency and bus operations would start soon. “The building will be inaugurated soon and bus operations will resume within a few days. Till we hire an agency, we ourselves will maintain the building. We will not cause inconvenience to people because of this,” Goswami said.
Delhi chief secretary DM Spolia also visited the ISBT on Wednesday and directed transport department officials to start bus operations “at the earliest”.
Started in 1976, the ISBT was partially closed in July 2011 for renovation.
Then, about 2,000 inter-state buses and 400 local buses operated from Kashmere Gate every day and catered to more than one lakh passengers. The number touched almost 1.5 lakh during festivals.
According to a transport department official, the ISBT has now been completely transformed keeping commuters’ convenience as top priority.
The arrival and departure areas have been redesigned, there is a change in bus circulation plan, escalators have been installed to take passengers to different levels and there is an enquiry booth at the centre of the terminus.
There is a food court for passengers and people accompanying them and seating arrangement has been made at various places for convenience of people waiting for their buses to arrive.
The building has also been made earthquake resistant.