No paradise for passengers
The city with a population of more than 18 lakh — with majority of the people living in residential colonies close to the Delhi-UP border — has no transport network.delhi Updated: Dec 16, 2009 23:54 IST
The city with a population of more than 18 lakh — with majority of the people living in residential colonies close to the Delhi-UP border — has no transport network.
In Ghaziabad, local trains are crowded, Delhi Metro operations have not begun and buses are simply too few and too old to cater to thousands of people who travel to the neighbouring cities of Noida and Delhi to study and to work.
People rely on rickety smoke-spewing three-wheelers that pack passengers like sardine.
Superintendent of police (traffic) Anil Kumar says there are about 15,000 autos running on 22 routes cutting through the city.
It’s not the number of the autorickshaws but the condition of these vehicles and the ill-mannered drivers and helpers that are a let down for most Ghaziabad residents.
“Three-wheelers are always over-crowded and drivers misbehave with passengers,” says Babita Saxena, a resident of Indirapuram.
“There have been several incidents of passengers being robbed and even killed by gangs of auto-rickshaw drivers.”
According to senior officials in the regional transport authority, the city bus service is meant to take care of Ghaziabad’s internal transport needs.
Senior officials say the authority has issued 425 permits to buses to run on 23 routes covering almost every locality in the city.
Upcoming colonies like Indirapuram, Kaushambi, Vaishali, Surya Nagar, Shalimar Garden and Rajendra Nagar are also connected to these city routes.
But critics say the service exists only on paper. That most permit holders lend their buses to schools and factories is a common complaint.
Though shuttle trains are the most widely-used mode of transport for people working in Delhi, only a section of people living in residential colonies close to the railway station benefit from the service.
The rest use their own transport, share autorickshaws or hop buses to reach destinations in Delhi.
“Auto drivers charge Rs 200 to Rs 500 if you decide not to share seats with co-passengers,” says Deepak Ganju, a Rajendra Nagar resident.
“The auto-rickshaws registered in Delhi do not cross the state borders. If they do, they charge hefty fares.”
Though Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), has made intensive planning to bring Delhi Metro service to Ghaziabad in five phases, spanning running 44 kilometres — the project is still on the drawing boards.