The Uttar Pradesh-Delhi bus row has been resolved.
The Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) and the Delhi Transport Corporation started operating their buses in each other's territory on Saturday. The development came six months after a dispute led to the two sides putting curbs on plying of buses across the UP-Delhi border.
The buses resumed operation much of the joy of commuters after UP and Delhi reached an understanding at a meeting between UP's Minister of State for Transport (independent charge) Ram Achal Rajbhar and Delhi Transport Minister Harun Yusuf in the national capital on Saturday. Secretary-level talks had been held a few days ago.
A formal bipartite agreement will be signed within a month.
"The dispute is now over and both the UPSRTC and the DTC have resumed plying buses in each other's territories, though a formal agreement will be signed later," UPSRTC Additional Managing Director DK Gupta told Hindustan Times in Lucknow.
Gupta said Delhi had agreed to allow UPSRTC buses to ply from Noida/Greater Noida to and from all the three railway stations in Delhi and all the three Inter State Bus Terminals (ISBTs). The railway stations are: the New Delhi Railway Station, the Old Delhi Railway Station and the Nizamuddin Railway Station. The three ISBTs are at Sarai Kalekhan, Kashmiri Gate and Anand Vihar.
Earlier, Delhi was not ready to let Noida's CNG city buses ply in the national capital.
As per the understanding, the UPSRTC buses will now take passengers directly to and from the railway stations and the ISBTs. They will not pick up or drop passengers on the way. Likewise, the DTC will ply its city and long-distance buses in UP, as it did earlier, without any hindrance.
Among those assisting Rajbhar during the talks were Principal Secretary (Transport) Pradeep Shukla and UPSRTC MD Dev Datt Sharma.
The dispute between the two states began on November 13, 2006, when the UPSRTC launched its modernised CNG city bus service between Noida/Greater Noida and Delhi. Delhi objected, fearing the UPSRTC service might end DTC's monopoly of the city bus service in the national capital. Delhi had seized all the six buses that the UPSRTC flagged off to the national capital on the first day. The UPSRTC managed to get its buses released the next day by the dint of a Delhi High Court order and retaliated by banning all 150 DTC buses that operated on various routes in UP.
Later, both Delhi and UP made some efforts to resolve the issue, but in vain.
In fact, there was a lot of politicking on the part of both the states, apparently because of assembly polls that were due in UP.
However, immediately after she took over as the chief minister after the poll, Mayawati announced she would give priority to resolving the UP-Delhi bus row. She rushed a team of officials to Delhi to have talks with their counterparts there. Later, she deputed her transport minister for further talks with his Delhi counterpart on Saturday.