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Bus passengers fret and fume, but governments unmoved

Neither government has made any initiative to end the deadlock which has resulted in harassment for thousands of commuters.

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 00:18 IST

As lakhs of passengers between the NCR cities and Delhi continued to slog it out due to the transport crisis between Delhi and UP, both the governments continued with their battle of wits.

None of them made any initiative on Monday to end the deadlock which has resulted in harassment for thousands of commuters.

"The scene at the Delhi border resembles the film Garam Hawa," said Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf. The film shows people moving to India or Pakistan in the wake of partition with their luggage perched on their heads.

As the interstate or long-route buses of UP Transport Corporation too are terminating at the border rather than at the ISBTs, the passengers are carrying their luggage on their head while entering the Delhi border.

After walking a fair distance with the luggage, the passengers then board a city route bus for their destination.

"I feel sorry to see the plight of the people. But, UP has made it an ego issue and is not budging an inch for a bus agreement between the two states," said Yusuf. The Transport Minister said UP has so far impounded 122 DTC buses and the government was filing application in the courts to get them released. The 11 buses of UP Transport Corporation, seized by Delhi, have already been released.

"How can Delhi permit plying of UP buses on the city routes," Yusuf asked. The minister said in such an eventuality, there would be no control on these buses and there will be complete chaos on the roads.

"If we allow UP, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab would start plying their buses on city routes," he added.

Meanwhile, former Union Minister Vijay Goel flashed an agreement signed between Delhi and UP in August 2004 and said it undermined the interests of Delhi. "The agreement said DTC buses would run 90,000 kms in UP while UP buses would run 30,000 kms in Delhi," he said. Goel said UP was running buses in the city routes as per this agreement. "The two state governments are fighting like the Indian and Pakistan governments who expel each other's diplomats," said Goel.

As the governments fight, the passengers have been left in the lurch. "It took three hours for me to reach Nehru Place from Vasundhara in Ghaziabad, a journey which normally takes a little over an hour," said Mukesh Kumar, a daily commuter. "I regret relocating to UP," he added.

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First Published: Nov 21, 2006 00:18 IST