Mulayam’s phone call to Delhi’s Chief Minister does the trick
THE UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) on Tuesday kicked off its ‘hi-tech inter city bus service from Noida and Greater Noida amidst protests by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC). Four air-conditioned buses were flagged off between Noida and Lucknow also.
The DTC, which had already declared not to allow UPSRTC to ply its new buses in Delhi did stop buses from entering Delhi but relented after Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav talked to his Delhi counterpart on phone, said sources.
UP Development Council chairman Amar Singh and Transport Minister Naresh Agrawal jointly flagged off 42 buses including 21 CNG-driven and as many diesel operated AC buses.
Probably, fearing a dent in its monopoly in the NCR, the DTC had objected to the UPSRTC plying its buses. It had threatened to stop its buses from entering in Delhi. The UPSRTC, however, argued that it already had an agreement with the DTC under which while UPSRTC was entitled to operate 30,000 km in Delhi in a day, the DTC could ply 90,000 km a day in UP.
Transport Minister Naresh Agarwal had advised the DTC to honour the agreement failing which, he threatened not to allow even a single DTC bus in UP.
According to sources, today, when UPSRTC’s buses entered Delhi, the DTC authorities did try to block them from plying in their region at various places.
The matter was discussed at official level however, all went in vain. The DTC, ultimately relented and the issue was resolved only after Mulayam Singh Yadav intervened into the matter and talked to Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dixit on phone in the afternoon, claimed sources.
The total number of buses according to officials would be increased to 225 by March 2007. The UPSRTC-operated 6 CNG buses from Noida’s Sector 63 to Anand Parwat, 10 buses from Greater Noida to New Delhi Railway Station.
Besides, four long-distance AC buses were flagged from Noida to Lucknow via Bareilly, four from Noida to Kanpur, two from Noida to Haldwani, and two each to Deharadun, Kotdwar, and Agra, and Bareilly.
The AC buses are fitted with comfortable pushback seats besides, Televisions and music systems.
Buses will be plied to many other cities too in the national capital region within next few weeks, said UPSRTC AMD, DK Gupta.
The Noida and the Greater Noida have given Rs 60 crore to the UPSRTC to ply city buses for them. Both Noida and Greater Noida authorities would bear losses if the UPSRTC suffers any during next 3 years as per the agreement. According to Gupta, there was a plan to construct a state-of the-art AC bus station with e-ticketing facility for city buses in Noida.