To curb air pollution and decongest areas around Kashmere Gate, the Delhi government has planned to shed the load of Kashmere Gate ISBT by almost 36%.
A week after lieutenant governor Anil Baijal directed chief secretary MM Kutty to look into “rationalising” locations of bus depots for inter-state buses in the city, the transport department and the traffic police have come up with a proposal to divert 673 inter-state buses from Kashmere Gate ISBT to Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan ISBTs.
The move is going to impact nearly 30,000 daily passengers.
Areas to be decongested: Ring Road, roads leading to Tis Hazari, Civil lines. Most buses coming from other states are old diesel buses. Kashmere Gate ISBT is centrally located adding to vehicular emissions in the heart of Delhi
Total 563 buses to be shifted here: via Shahdara side UP Roadways
Haridwar Rishikesh: 12 Volvo and 75 non-AC buses
Kotdwar: 69 non-AC buses
Meerut: 19 Volvo and 62 non-AC buses
Shamli-Saharanpur-Badot: 48 non-AC buses
Dehradun: 12 Volvo and 36 non-AC buses
Nagina-Dhampur-Bijnor-Nazibabad: 29 non-AC buses
Muzzafarnagar: 16 non-AC Khatoli: 2 non-AC Uttarakhand Roadways
Dehradun: 36 Volvo and 54 non-AC buses
Kotdwar: 1 Volvo, 23 non-AC
Haridwar Rishikesh: 11 Volvo and 58 non-AC Sarai Kale Khan ISBT
Total 110 buses to be shifted here: via Dhaula Kuan side Rajasthan Roads – 89 buses
Haryana Roadways – 21 buses
“We plan to do this because most buses coming from neighbouring states are old diesel buses that are highly polluting. Since vehicular emission is a major contributor to local air quality, pushing these polluting buses to the city’s periphery would help improve the situation,” a transport department official said.
According to the proposal, buses that come from Western UP towns like Muzzafarnagar, Shamli, Saharanpur, Meerut, Bijnor, and Uttarakhand towns like Kotdwar, Rishikesh, Haridwar and Dehradun, will be diverted to Anand Vihar terminal.
While 563 buses that take the Shahdara route will be diverted to Anand Vihar, 110 buses of Haryana and Rajasthan Roadways will be shifted to the Sarai Kale Khan terminal. However, all other buses that operate from the Chandigarh side shall continue to enter the Kashmere Gate ISBT.
“Most of these buses, especially those that take the Shahdara route should ideally come to Anand Vihar. But, they continue to come to Kashmere Gate as it is most centrally-located out of all three ISBTs,” another official explained.
Explaining how the plan would decongest the area, Garima Bhatnagar, joint commissioner of police (traffic) said, “If the proposal gets a go ahead then it would unclog the Kashmere Gate flyover, Ring Road, the road that goes towards Tis Hazari, Civil Lines and even the road to Old Delhi. Besides, it would lead to reduction in footfall which would mean presence of fewer hawkers and inter-mediate public transport (IPTs) like auto rickshaws and so on that are now clogging the roads.”
She added that the timings of departure and arrival of these buses are clubbed which add to the chaos during peak hours. “Changing the engineering of the road is not possible to clear the bottleneck around Kashmere Gate because of its proximity to monuments like the Red Fort, Salimgarh Fort and so on. So, this could help. We are going to have a meeting on this again in a day or two,” Bhatnagar said.
Experts, however, expressed their concerns that it would only make Anand Vihar more polluted.
“This will help to decongest. But, Anand Vihar is a pollution hotspot in Delhi. Developing new terminal areas with good connectivity for seamless transfers to local and cleaner transport systems can be considered,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director at Centre for Science and Environment.