The Delhi government has planned to add 3,000 new buses this year and introduce premium buses for the well-off class to augment public transport as it wants to implement the odd-even car-rationing at regular intervals.
Transport minister Gopal Rai said that as per the plan, 1,000 buses to be run under cluster system will ply on roads from April-May while 1,000 air-conditioned low-floor buses will hit the streets from August.
The AAP government has also decided to launch a “premium bus service” with higher fares, a step aimed at encouraging the well-off class to use public transport. “Under ‘premium bus service’, we will run 1,000 buses by the end of this year. These buses will have AC, water, magazine, marshals, wi-fi and other facilities,” Mr Rai told the media.
Meanwhile, the government has also asked Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments to stop trucks travelling to other states from entering the city as the vehicles were found contributing to the high pollution level during the trial of odd-even formula.
Mr Rai said that during the 15-day trial of odd-even car rationing formula, high pollution level was found in bordering areas but in inner areas of Delhi, the pollution level was not so high. “There are thousands of trucks travelling to other states but enter Delhi. I have written to both UP and Haryana governments to stop such vehicles from entering Delhi and divert them to other ways,” the minister added.
The transport minister said that he has also written to the Centre asking it to monitor the construction works of Eastern and Western Peripheral Expressways.
Talking about the success of the odd-even scheme, Mr Rai said that he was “more anxious” the night before the rolling out of the car-rationing plan than on the eve of the Delhi polls counting day.
The 15-day pilot plan had come into effect from January 1, and the minister claimed, he was sleepless on the night of December 31, but it was during this tense period that he came up with a strategy to help make the scheme a success.
“When I called up my officers in the morning of December 31, they told me that they were on off today. When bureaucrats went on the mass leave against the government, I could not sleep that night and prepared a strategy throughout the night to make odd-even a success.
“I was not so tense even the night before Delhi went to polls (counting day), as I was on December 31, a day before the odd-even was to be implemented,” Mr Rai said.
“That night (December 31), we prepared a strategy and decided to deploy AAP volunteers to assist the civil defence personnel in doing their assigned work. Finally, we successfully implement the scheme.”