Illegally parked buses adding to Delhi’s traffic chaos | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

Illegally parked buses adding to Delhi’s traffic chaos

ByAlok KN Mishra
Dec 08, 2023 05:54 AM IST

Delhi’s traffic problem — a contributor to emissions, and therefore, poor air quality — is exacerbated by buses, both used by private schools and operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation, being parked on arterial roads

Delhi’s traffic problem — a contributor to emissions, and therefore, poor air quality — is exacerbated by buses, both used by private schools and operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation, being parked on arterial roads.

Delhi has 17,282 registered private buses, but has negligible parking infrastructure for these vehicles. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Delhi has 17,282 registered private buses, but has negligible parking infrastructure for these vehicles. (Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

While the buses themselves run on CNG, or electricity (some DTC buses are EVs), and are less polluting, they cause traffic jams or cause traffic to slow down, resulting in a spike in pollution.

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Private schools, especially the popular ones, often get away with almost anything -- from city administrators to police officials to CEOs to journalists, everyone is also a parent — and DTC is state-owned, which means that no one is willing to do anything to tackle the menace.

And so, from Vasant Vihar to Vikaspuri, Green Park to GK, and Mayur Vihar to Mehrauli, commuters and residents have to put up with the buses.

DTC, which is considering leasing out space in its depots for commercial purposes, is a big contributor to the mess.

For instance, buses occupy almost two lanes of the three-lane carriageway on Tamil Sangham Marg in RK Puram -- apart from making illegal U-turns in the face of traffic to get to this illegal parking -- holding up or slowing traffic in one of the busiest parts of the city.

Also in South Delhi, they use Munirka Marg, the road outside Basant Lok market, for parking, resulting in a traffic nightmare on a thoroughfare already affected by cars with diplomatic plates being parked with impunity on the road.

Transport commissioner Ashish Kundra said: “DTC and cluster buses are parked in the authorized depots only, but if we receive specific complaints from any areas on DTC or cluster buses being parked in the roads or unauthorised places we will look into the complaints and take action against those responsible.”

HT reached out to the traffic police, but officers did not comment on the issue.

Then, there are the schools.

Many of these buses drop students to schools in the morning, and drivers park the buses till afternoon. This everyday phenomenon has been going on unchecked for years.

The chaos spreads further in the evening when the buses are again parked on the roads for the night. Various RWAs have complained to the police and school officials -- but in vain.

Vivek Tandon, a resident of Vasant Vihar, said that Poorvi Marg and Vasant Marg , two of the busiest thoroughfares in Vasant Vihar are ruined by school buses between 7.30am and 2pm.

The driver of a private bus engaged by a school in Poorvi Marg, who did not identify himself, said he brings students from Sarai Kale Khan, Kapashera, Saket, Mehrauli, Chhatarpur and other places to the school.

“The buses arrive at the school at 7.50am, and all the students get down near the gate of the school. After the students are gone, we have to wait till 1.50pm to pick up the students. This road does not have a service road, so we do not have any option but to park the buses on the main road. The buses of other schools are also parked on the road only. The buses leave after 2pm,” said the driver.

He said he takes the bus to Chirag Dilli and parks it there for the night.

HT reached out to at least three private schools, but authorities there refused to comment on the matter.

According to the transport department, Delhi has 17,282 registered private buses registered in the Capital, and over 3000 private buses registered in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other places also operate in Delhi. It has negligible parking infrastructure for these private buses, especially in densely populated areas.

HT carried out a spot check on Wednesday morning in Vasant Vihar, RK Puram, Adchini, and ITO (near Mata Sundari College). We found buses parked on either side of the road after dropping students, thereby reducing the width of the road and causing people to navigate with difficulty. At ITO, two parallel lines of buses were parked near Mata Sundari College.

Parking is a perennial problem in Delhi which has over 20 million residents and 7.73 million registered vehicles. Fights over parking are common in most residential areas -- every month, on an average, there are 700 PCR calls regarding fights related to parking.

A major portion of the Capital’s 17,882km of roads also serve as parking space. Delhi notified the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules in 2019 but despite the direct intervention of the Supreme Court, key aspects of the parking plan are yet to be implemented.

The result is a problem that no one is willing to acknowledge, leave alone address.

“In GK-1, on Maharishi Dayanand Marg near Summer Fields School, private buses and cars block one carriageway in the narrow colony road, causing huge jams,” said Rajiv Kakria who lives in Greater Kailash-I.

Suchita Meena, general secretary of Aravali Apartments in Alaknanda said: “For the last few years, DTC buses have been using a portion of Kalka Public School Road to park... We have written several letters to the authorities, but no action has been taken. Several minor accidents have also taken place due to the congestion.”

Paras Tyagi, a resident of Vikaspuri, said he has been watching buses being parked on roads in Vikaspuri H Block and M Block for over 20 years. “The roads are 80 feet wide but are reduced to 40 feet due to the buses being parked on the road. The residents complained to the police which said the MCD is supposed to deal with the issue. The MCD says the police is supposed to deal with the issue,” said Tyagi.

An MCD official said the civic body has been creating parking lots for bus and trucks. “Though the creation of more parking spaces is being worked out, it has also come to notice that many parking lots are underutilised, and bus and truck operators park unauthorizedly on road side,” said the official, asking not to be named.

Shyamlal Gola, general secretary of State Transport Authority Operators Ekta Manch, which represents private bus operators of Delhi, said the parking of buses is a big challenge. “

MCD collects 4,000 from each private bus every year when they renew their fitness certificate. At the time of purchase, the buyer has to mandatorily pay 8000 to MCD as parking fee. MCD has been collecting this money for the last 25 years, but it has not created any parking infrastructure for private buses. MCD should create parking infrastructure, and the schools and the factories which use charted buses should provide parking,” said Gola.

“Most of the MCD parking are not big enough to accommodate the buses. The schools have utilised the spaces available within their premises for expansion and other facilities, and have never bothered about the parking of the buses they engage,” a bus operator said, asking not to be named.


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