The three-year wait of city residents for low-floor buses just got longer.
Following severe financial crunch, the Haryana government has decided to drop plans to launch 400 low-floor buses (including air-conditioned ones) to cater to Gurgaon’s intra-city travel needs. The project also aimed to improve connectivity to Delhi and other NCR towns.
The state government now decides to invite private players and launch the project on PPP (public-private partnership) mode, which will delay the project by another year or more.
It has been learnt from highly placed sources that the Haryana Roadways department, which has been running in losses for the past few years, has proposed for a PPP mode to make the project operational.
For the last three years, the government has been promising residents that the public transportation system will strengthened with the addition of 400 buses.
Around 100 buses were supposed to be launched in February under the first phase.
For city residents who travel to NCR towns daily, this news comes as a big blow.
No official of the Gurgaon administration or at the head office of Haryana Roadways department at Chandigarh agreed to comment on the matter. Director general of the Haryana Transport department Arun Kumar had recently assured that 100 more buses would be added to the existing fleet, including 40 semi low-floor buses and 20 AC buses. “The move will bring cheer to thousands of passengers, who depend upon public transport to reach their destinations,” he had said. Earlier, the city's transport department had identified 32 bus routes and publicised the launch of 400 buses touted to ease commuting woes of NCR residents.
Pedestrians the worst hit
A majority of road accident deaths is caused due to speeding and abrupt crossing by pedestrians.
As per the traffic police department records of 2011, of the 411 people killed on city roads last year — 149 became victims due to speeding, 135 pedestrians lost their lives while crossing roads and 52 were killed while overtaking from wrong side.
The data also reveals that driving from the wrong side claimed the lives of 24 people, while 18 died due to stationary vehicles parked without signals.
The police force, currently facing severe manpower shortage, has failed to curb the menace, though it puts its best foot forward by launching occasional drives against wrong parking, over-speeding and drunken driving etc.
However, the police say they are doing their best to control such incidents.
“Hundreds of lives could have been saved if footover bridges, subways etc were in place. We can save more lives if such facilities are made available,” said Bharti Arora, DCP (traffic), Gurgaon.