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Delhi buses barred from plying in Uttar Pradesh

In a tit-for-tat, peeved UP transport minister Naresh Agrawal has banned plying of DTC buses into UP area of the NCR.

india Updated: Nov 17, 2006 16:14 IST

A day after Delhi stopped Uttar Pradesh state-run buses from plying in its territory, the state government did likewise on Friday.

State Transport Minister Naresh Agarwal issued orders barring all Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses from entering UP areas in the National Capital Region (NCR), on the periphery of Delhi.

On Thursday, the Delhi administration barred entry of UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses in the NCR area in pursuance of an apex court order not to allow non-CNG vehicles to ply on the Indian capital roads.

Agarwal onThursday had goneto discuss the matter with Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, but was reportedly ignored.

"I did my best to sort out the whole issue with Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit, but she did not even keep her appointment with me. We, therefore, have no choice but to resort to the same tactics used by the Delhi administration," Agarwal told reporters in Lucknowon Friday.

He said: "I kept waiting to meet her the whole day after she personally told me that she would discuss the issue with me. But then she just decided to forget about it."

"What was very surprising is that the entire Delhi administration, including the CM, were apparently totally insensitive to the problem that poor commuters would have to face after suspension of all the major public transport services between Delhi and UP" he pointed out.

Agarwal's reprisal move would, however, not affect long-distance bus services between the two states.

"The present standoff will affect only state-run buses of the two states plying in the NCR," he added.

According to a top UPSRTC official, buses were being run between the two states on a reciprocal basis. About 129 DTC buses have been plying in UP for the past 15 years. "None of them have the required permits," he said, adding "we never objected to that in the larger interests of the commuters."

The move stands to benefit the powerful lobby of private bus operators, who control the bulk of buses plying in NCR. As against 129 DTC buses, there are 229 Delhi based privately run buses plying on various NCR routes. Their business would have been hit with the introduction of brand new modern buses by UPSRTC.

First Published: Nov 17, 2006 16:14 IST