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Transport gets lion’s share

delhi Updated: Jun 23, 2009 00:55 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
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Public transport will continue to be the thrust area for Delhi government this year.

Completion of nine corridors in second phase of the Metro, addition of 2,500 new low-floor and semi-low floor air-conditioned and non-air conditioned buses, construction of 23 railway overbridges and under-bridges, a huge parking lot over drains near Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, and re-carpeting of Delhi’s arterial roads by using innovative technologies to increase their longevity are some of the important transport and road projects Delhi government will be taking up this financial year.

To strengthen public transport in the Capital, the Sheila Dikshit government has earmarked Rs 3,069 crore, which is 31 per cent of the planned budget and about 3 per cent up more than last year’s allocation.

Refraining to announce any new scheme or project for the Capital, in his budget speech Delhi finance minister Dr AK Walia detailed the under-construction Delhi Metro network and Delhi Transport Corporation’s plan to acquire new low-floor and semi-low-floor air-conditioned and non-AC buses to overhaul public transport system in Delhi. A major chunk of this planned allocation, however, would be spent on construction of 185-kilometre metro network in Delhi.

This year, the government has earmarked Rs 780 crore for the Metro.

The Delhi government has also allocated about Rs 340 crore to the DTC specifically for Games-related projects. The transport department plans to have 6,600 buses in its fleet before the Games. The Delhi Cabinet has recently cleared a proposal to have another 1000 semi-low floor buses in its fleet.

“The government should have allocated money to improve infrastructure for non-motorised traffic like cycles and pedestrians by constructing cycle tracks and pedestrian walkways. It would improve the air quality and also help decongest the arterial roads and bring down the number of accidents,” said Nalin Sinha, programme director, Initiative for Transportation and Development Programmes (India).