The Delhi urban development department has identified five sites for setting up new depots to augment the existing infrastructure for Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses in the city. DTC has a fleet of 3,200 buses that the government now aims at expanding to over twice its size.
Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf said many of these depots would be multi-level structures.
“We had suggested five sites at Dera Mandi in south Delhi, Gadaipur, Mitraon village, Raghopur village and Asola. Of these, the lieutenant governor has already approved the Dera Mandi site,” said Rajkumar Chauhan, Delhi urban development minister. Chauhan said the government has already started the process of acquiring land for setting up more depots.
Yusuf said the city needed 48 more depots, as parking space was also required for private buses. “There are private operators in the city who own 300 buses at times. In the absence of proper depots, they park on roads,” he said.
The department was in the process of adding 4,125 buses to its existing fleet, he added. “We are in the process of acquiring 2,500 semi-low floor buses, while another 1,000 normal buses have also been ordered,” said Yusuf.
Transport department officials said Delhi would add 625 more to its collection of low floor buses. Global tenders for these buses have been floated. “Of these, 25 are low floor, air conditioned buses. The transport department will fund the multi-level bus depots that will take care of the present space crisis,” said Yusuf.
The first eight of these AC buses will be inaugurated by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday. These buses will be red in colour and will operate on a selected route between Nehru Place, Ambedkar Nagar and Shivaji Stadium, connecting the BRT corridor to the Metro Rail network.
“We will start the service from the first week of June. The tickets have been priced at Rs 10, Rs 15 and Rs 25. People who normally use autorickshaws and cars get the option of using a comfortable mode of public transport,” said Yusuf.