The inter-state dispute between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh took a serious turn on Friday with Delhi suspending most if its bus service to the neighbouring state. The Transport Department took the decision after UP impounded 35 DTC buses in the morning taking the figure of impounded buses to 105.
The passengers bound for Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and other areas would have a tough time commuting as a majority of the buses would ply only upto the Delhi border. The school buses of DTC, roped in by some private Noida schools, would also be affected as the Principals have been asked to make alternative arrangement.
"This is sheer blackmail,” said Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf on the decision of UP to impound the DTC buses. “We will not allow anyone to blackmail us. If UP government does not stop impounding our DTC buses we will cut off our entire transport services being provided in the state,” the minister told a news conference.
Yusuf alleged low level of political thinking was behind UP government's decision to ban DTC buses and not those of private operators. “It should be avoided for the welfare of the people of both the states,” he said. The minister claimed that Delhi was willing to “compromise” with UP on the issue but the neighbouring state was taking an intransigent stance. “It will be UP which will turn out to be the loser in the process as its buses are making a larger number of daily trips to Delhi as compared to ours,” Yusuf said.
DTC city route services to Noida was started more than 25 years ago at the request of the then UP Chief Minister V P Singh who wanted the buses to ply in Noida for commuters' benefit. “UP is unnecessarily raking up the issue now,” Yusuf added.
The Transport Departments of Delhi and UP are at loggerheads over the plying of buses in the absence of any agreement between them for the last several years. While UP wants the agreement to be based on the number of kiolometres plied in the state, Delhi wants that the agreement should be on the trips undertaken and not on kilometres plied. The latest controversy started a week ago when UP decided to ply its buses in the interior of the capital and the Delhi government impounded them terming it “illegal”.