Autos and old city buses are major modes of local commuting. What steps have been taken to modernise the local fleet of public transport system?
There is no other mean of local transport system available in the cities. The situation will improve with the implementation of the national capital region (NCR) agreement within NCR. Better autos and radio taxis will ply within the boundaries of the region. Local city buses now run on CNG. Diesel-based autos will be phased out by December 2009. This will improve commuting standards. The Delhi Metro is also expected to bring in some relief to commuters.
City buses ply only on the routes that are profitable, leaving other areas without a public transport. Also, autos are charging high fares in Noida and Ghaziabad. What is being done to address this?
Unlike Noida, Roadways does not ply city buses in Ghaziabad. Ghaziabad roads are more congested and encroached. This leads to less mobility of buses within the city routes. As a result, many city buses ply on other main roads. We are also taking action against autos fleecing commuters.
There is no concept of pre-paid autos or radio taxi services in the region. Three-wheelers ply without any meters. Is the authority planning to do anything at all?
Presently there is no provision for pre-paid autos or radio taxi service in the region. Once the NCR agreement comes into effect, we can think about such a system. The cities are lagging behind in terms of transport infrastructure.
People are still awaiting the results of commuting between the NCR areas under NCR-agreement. What has been the cause of delay?
Delhi buses that plied on Noida routes are a major problem. Our private buses were not allowed inside Delhi. Now that Delhi buses have been stopped from entering cities such as Noida, decks have been cleared for the NCR agreement. As per our information, the pact will be inked very soon by the state officials concerned.
What should be done to maintain a proper transport system in the twin cities of Noida and Ghaziabad?
Problems of Noida are less compared with Ghaziabad’s. We have full support of the Noida Authority officials in times of needs. With their help, we were able to remove the autos in Noida but they managed to secure a stay from the high court. In Ghaziabad, the transport system lags behind due to encroached roads, congestions and other developmental work that have not been carried out as desired. Ghaziabad agencies should cooperate and coordinate to bring relief to people.
(As told to Peeyush Khandelwal)