With just 10 days to the deadline for vacating the Millennium bus depot, the Delhi government is yet to decide on the parking space for the 225 new cluster buses which will be inducted in March.
On January 13, the Supreme Court had ordered the Delhi government to shift the buses from the 51.06-acre depot after the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) failed to change its land use.
Currently, DTC is shifting the last batch of 320 cluster buses parked at the depot, which was meant to be a temporary bus shelter during the 2010 Commonwealth Games. “Around 120 cluster buses are being relocated to the Dichaon Kalan depot while for the rest we are yet to decide the parking depot,” said a DIMTS official.
The Delhi Integrated Multi-modal Transport System (DIMTS) operates 1,693 buses in Delhi whereas the DTC runs 4,020 low-floor and standard buses. Transport department officials said the standard floor DTC buses from the Millennium depot have been relocated to the Banda Bahadur Marg depot whereas, for cluster vehicles it is mulling to create space at Seemapuri, Hari Nagar-III and the Indraprastha depot.
“But all this shifting will not solve the problem. DIMTS is going to get at least 743 buses as the competitive bidding for a total fleet of 2,436 buses has already been completed. New buses cannot be inducted until we ensure parking space,” the official said.
The government said that the location of the Millenium bus depot makes it convenient for the operation of buses as it is closer to all key multi-modal transport hubs like Anand Vihar ISBT, Sarai Kale Khan ISBT, Kashemre Gate ISBT and so on.
“If a depot is on the outskirts, we also incur one-way dead mileage as buses have to run longer distance to be parked. Over the years, Rs 60 crore were invested in the depot to create CNG stations, a workshop and other infrastructure,” another official said.
Sources said that the ministry of urban development has asked the DDA to expedite the process and finish conversion of land use within the next three months so that the depot can be used.