Opening of ISBTs in Delhi to decongest Kaushambi
With Delhi planning to re-open its inter-state bus terminals (ISBTs) soon, over seven months after they were shut due to the Covid-induced lockdown, the UP State Road Transport Corporation’s (UPSRTC’s) Kaushambi ISBT is likely to get de-congested.
The UPSRTC operated about 1500 buses from the three Delhi ISBTs but was now forced to shift operations to Kaushambi, where it usually operated 600 buses, after the Delhi government decided against re-opening them. While the Kaushambi was also shut initially during the lockdown, it re-opened to ferry migrant labourers leaving the cities back to their homes in other districts of Uttar Pradesh.
On Monday, Delhi transport minister Kailash Gahlot said they would re-open ISBTs at Kashmere Gate, Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar before Diwali that falls on November 14.
“Since the three ISBTs were shut, we curtailed our operations. Of the 1500 buses, we shifted 800 to Kaushambi. Of the 800, most run on diesel,” said AK Singh, regional manager of UPSRTC. Diesel is considered to be a polluting fuel as it burns inefficiently.
The ISBT at Kaushambi for long has been under scanner of residents of adjacent Kaushambi township who say that it is one of the major pollution sources in the area.
“Since the ISBTs in Delhi were shut there was surge in buses operating from Kaushambi. They parked on roadside and their movement generated a lot of dust, besides their constant honking was a constant irritant. Apart from these, there are about 200-300 unauthorised buses which also operate from near a mall. So, all these buses combined have led to rise in different pollution sources for our residents,” said VK Mittal, president of Kaushambi Apartments residents’ welfare association (KARWA).
“There is hardly any enforcement against the private buses. Since, Delhi has announced that ISBTs will be opening before Diwali, we will send our buses to three ISBTs and this will give much needed relief to our terminal. The 600 odd buses which we operate routinely from Kaushambi are presently taking up only single departure in a day due to lesser availability of passengers,” Singh said.
He added that the diesel buses are in process of conversion to CNG while presently operating buses were using BS-VI type fuel and no pressure horns are used by UPSRTC buses.
Combined, the two ISBTs of Anand Vihar and Kaushambi besides heavy traffic conditions on the Delhi’s ring road adds major contribution to air pollution in the Kaushambi area.
“The conditions at ISBT Kaushambi are among several factors which add a major contribution to air pollution. Depending on wind directions, its pollution also affects monitoring stations at Indirapuram and Vasundhara and also the other one at Anand Vihar in Delhi. The effect will be more as more buses are operating from here due to shutdown of ISBTs in Delhi,” said Utsav Sharma, regional officer of the UP pollution control board.