July 23, 2014
An allotment of Rs.3,702 crore has been made
Though the transport sector was the biggest gainer in terms of share at 20.91 per cent in the planned expenditure of the Delhi Budget for the current fiscal, the financial statement tabled in Parliament refrained from making any new major announcements in the sector.
With an allotment of Rs.3,702 crore for the transport sector, the State government aims at constructing new flyovers and doubling single carriageway flyovers.
It has also made provisions for extension of the Barapullah project to Mayur Vihar, an automated fare collection system through electronic ticketing machines and card readers in Delhi Transport Corporation buses and modernisation of two Inter-State Bus Terminals (ISBT), among others. Some of the announcements, however, are a repeat of last year’s Budget announcements by former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
“Road transport is still the preferred mode of public transport in Delhi. However, of a total fleet of about 5,000 buses, about 1,300 are old standard floor buses with DTC fleet, which need to be replaced immediately. In order to provide better transport to the commuters, tenders have been floated for procurement of 1,380 semi-low floor buses for the DTC,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
“To make available more buses to the commuters, private sector corporate operators will add 400 new cluster [scheme] buses, making a fleet of about 1,600 cluster buses during this financial year.”
During the last Budget, the government had planned to procure 625 low floor and 1,380 semi low-floor buses. The city requires 11,000 buses in order to cater to around 45 lakh commuters on a daily basis. However, only around 6,400 buses are in service at present. While the DTC operates around 5,000 buses, the rest operate under the cluster scheme.
While the DTC has been making efforts to replace the entire fleet of standard floor buses over the last two to three years, private authorities have failed to induct a majority of the 6,600 buses that were originally planned to be launched under the cluster scheme. The authorities have successively blamed lack of bus depot as the primary reason for the delay.
Taking the monorail dream forward, the budget has allotted Rs.10 crore for the project, the first phase of which would come in the Trans-Yamuna area. The same amount has also been sanctioned for procurement of feeder buses for the Delhi Metro.
Apart from modernising the regional offices of the Transport Department, the Budget announced developing the ISBTs at Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar, which are currently functioning without suitable infrastructure. However, the initiative also found mention in the Budget proposals last year. While Ms. Dikshit had announced that renovation work at the two ISBTs would begin during the last fiscal itself, it is yet to start.