In a bid to increase parking space for buses and generate revenue, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has asked the public works department (PWD) to convert bus depots into multilevel parking lots.
The DTC management may open up the revamped depots for private vehicles and allow commercial activities too.
Lack of parking is one of the primary reasons for the delay in strengthening the city’s bus fleet, especially those operating under the cluster scheme.
The Delhi government has been asking the Delhi Development Authority to allot land for more bus depots. But for now, the public transporter has decided to augment the capacity at the existing depots.
At some locations, the DTC will rent out space for commercial activities. The Seemapuri depot in east Delhi has been selected as a pilot project for which the PWD will soon issue a tender.
“We have asked PWD to study the concept of multilevel bus depots. This is the best way to utilise the space. They will start the experiment at the Seemapuri depot, where a second floor will be added,” said a DTC official.
The transport corporation has identified 31 of its 43 depots where multilevel parking lots could be built
The Seemapuri depot has a capacity to park 100 buses. After the second floor is made, the capacity will increase to 180.
Operators who run buses under the cluster scheme have threatened to stop services if the Delhi government does not provide parking space for buses.
The DTC has not bought a single bus for over five years and is unable to provide services on 586 routes.
The Aam Aadmi Party government had promised to increase the number of buses to 10,000 from 5,000 but due to lack of space, private operators have not shown interest in participating in bids.
“We are struggling to park buses in the 43 depots. Recently, the government managed to get space at three locations in outer Delhi, which will be given to cluster operators. But we need space in central Delhi. We cannot afford to send buses for parking 30 km away from their operational areas,” the official said.
Around 800 buses are parked in the Millennium Depot but the court has asked DTC clear it.
Multilevel depots will help increase the revenue of DTC, officials said.
“It can convert existing depots into multilevel shopping complexes and keep the ground floor for parking. It can be done on a public private partnership basis,” the official said.