UPSRTC cannot ply CNG buses in Delhi: Haroon Yusuf
TO FIND an amicable solution to the inter-state dispute on plying of buses, a six-member team comprising Delhi Transport Secretary R. Chandra Mohan, managing director of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) Anshu Prakash and four other senior officials will reach here tomorrow to hold talks with their UPSRTC counterparts. The brief of the officials is simple - find a give-and-take solution to help the commuters shuttling between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh at the earliest.
This is the first time an effort is being made to initiate a dialogue between the two states to resolve the dispute.
Talking to the Hindustan Times here today, Naresh Agarwal said he would probably go to Delhi to meet his counterpart there if the two teams agreed on basic points of the proposed agreement.
Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf said the officials had a discussion over the phone with MD of UP State Road Transport Corporation Shankar Aggarwal earlier in the day. Uttar Pradesh, he said, had promised to release the 122 DTC buses impounded by it. “We hope the buses are released by Tuesday to facilitate discussion in a cordial atmosphere,” said Yusuf.
The minister made it clear that the Delhi Government will not allow Uttar Pradesh to ply its CNG buses on city routes.
It was the decision of UP authorities to start bus services between Noida and city routes in Delhi that led to the current standoff.
“The CNG buses of Uttar Pradesh can be allowed to ply up to the ISBTs but will not be allowed to pick passengers en route,” the minister said.
Referring to the directions of the Delhi High Court to end the dispute, Yusuf claimed that Delhi was committed to the commuters and wanted the mutual distrust between the two states to end soon.
The deadlock was broken on Thursday when Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit rang up Agarwal asking him to send a team of UPSRTC officials to Delhi to discuss the stalemate.
Dixit had promised that she would herself attend the proposed meeting of transport ministers of the two States to end the deadlock.
However, both the DTC and UPSRTC have no option but to find a solution to the contentious within a week in the wake of the Delhi High Court directive to Transport secretaries of both the States. The court directive came when the UPSRTC filed a case in the Delhi High Court seeking a directive to the Delhi Government to provide CNG to UPSRTC buses in Delhi. Hundreds of DTC buses, which were impounded by the UPSRTC in different parts of the State, had to be released on the court order.
Buses in more cities
The UPSRTC is all geared up to extend its city bus service beyond the State Capital, in a big way.
From tomorrow, the corporation is launching the city bus service in Kanpur with 21 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) operated buses. Transport Minister Naresh Agarwal will flag off the new service. The number of buses will gradually be increased. The corporation will kick off city buses in Agra on December 15 and in Allahabad on December 18. However, in Agra all buses will be CNG driven, the ones in Allahabad will be diesel operated. UPSRTC’s additional MD DK Gupta said the corporation would ply city buses in Ghaziabad too, but the date, he added, was yet to be finalized.