How Delhi is gearing up for odd-even: DTC to hire 500 buses, Metro frequency up
Delhi government announced measures to boost public transport during the odd-even drive that will begin from November 13.delhi Updated: Nov 10, 2017 10:54 IST
Delhi government on Thursday issued a slew of directions to its various agencies after announcing its decision to roll out the odd-even car rationing drive from November 13.
To boost public transport, which will be the lifeline of the city for the five days of the drive, the Delhi Transport Corporation was asked to hire at least 500 buses during this period.
DTC managing director Sandeep Kumar said arrangements have been made to bring in private stage carriage permit holders whom the corporation will pay on per kilometre basis.
“We are not reaching out to schools this time. These are private bus owners and the buses that we take from them will be serving the public till March 15 next year,” he said.
However, when asked if the tender process was done for hiring these buses, Kumar said it is yet to be done. With just one working day left for the week and the odd-even scheme starting from Monday, it looks unlikely that the corporation gets more buses on time.
DTC’s fleet, at 3,951 buses, is at a seven year low, with no buses being added to its fleet. A proposal to add 1,000 more buses got the cabinet’s approval on September 1, but tenders are yet to be floated.
With cluster buses, the city at present has 5,600 buses against the need of 11,000 as mandated by the high court.
Acknowledging the shortage of buses, Anumita Roychowdhury of CSE said, “Even though there is a shortage of public buses in the city but Delhiites have other options, such as cab sharing and auto-rickshaws.”
She added that odd-even was an emergency measure which would be enforced temporarily. “When orders were issued to shut down brick kilns and ban diesel generators many people faced difficulty. If odd-even is rolled out some people will face inconvenience. But this is for our own good and it will reduce health hazards,” she said.
EPCA members pointed out that the govt’s long-list of exemptions, being asked to keep it to a minimum, would serve little purpose. Over 60% of Delhi’s 65 lakh vehicular population is that of two-wheelers, which are exempted from the drive.
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has already increased the frequency of trains from Thursday and said that it will maintain the same frequency during odd-even. DMRC will run 3,317 train trips instead of 3,131, to provide increased capacity.
These trips are increased by inducting trains from the operational maintenance reserve kept in the metro train depots by optimizing the required maintenance schedule.
The Delhi Metro currently operates with a fleet of 227 train sets, comprising 128 six coach, 58 eight coach and 41 four coach trains, across all its corridors. Usually 200 of them operate and rest undergoes maintenance.
It will also run an additional 100 mini buses on 20 routes during the odd and even phase.
Police and volunteers
The revenue department of Delhi government has decided to deploy 5,000 civil defense volunteers on approximately 200 locations and major intersections.
Explaining the traffic police’s preparations for the drive, special CP (traffic) Dependra Pathak said, “The entire mechanism will be drawn after the notification reaches us. But the police is prepared and adequate deployment would be ensured.”
During the last phase, 200 points were identified where police prosecuted violators. Pathak also said the compliance was satisfactory and said that he hoped this time, too, people themselves follow the rules and don’t drive on days they are prohibited.
On restricting the entry of trucks in the city on certain days, Pathak said 18 points were identified and special teams would be deployed there.
(With inputs from Shubhomoy Sikdar and Faizan Haider)