Delhi will get 4,000 new buses that will be put on the roads in phases by the next financial year, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia announced in his budget speech on Tuesday. This is good news because the city currently has only 5,671 public transport buses when it needs 11,000.
Delhi Transport Corporation, which has 3,882 buses, ferries around 31 lakh passengers daily, while the 1,789 buses operating under the cluster scheme carry 12 lakh. The DTC fleet will be augmented with 1,000 new buses in 2019-20, while the cluster scheme will get 1,000 standard-floor CNG buses, 1,000 low-floor AC CNG buses and 1,000 low-floor AC electric buses.
The focus of the budget relating to transport was on creating transport infrastructure in the city, including for electric vehicles. An outlay of Rs 1,807 crore in 2019-20, which the government said was nearly double that in 2018-19, has been announced.
“Vehicles contribute to approximately 40% emission of PM 2.5 in Delhi. To resolve this problem, our government has formulated a draft Electric Vehicle Policy to promote the use of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in an effort to have BEVs having a share of 25% in new registered vehicles by 2024,” Sisodia said.
The budget allocated Rs 100 crore for constituting the State Electric Vehicle Fund for 2019-20, giving it another Rs 50 crore from the environment compensation charge corpus.
Sewa Ram, professor of transport planning, School of Planning and Architecture, said that apart from incentivising electric vehicles, this fund would also be used to create infrastructure for electric vehicles in the city, such as charging stations.
The budget also allocated funds for construction and renovation of bus depots, bus terminals and bus queue shelters. The proposal for the construction of six new bus depots at Ghumanhera, Mundela Kalan, Rohini, East Vinod Nagar, Bawana and VIU Burari have been approved and these could be made functional next year, Sisodia said. New bus depots at Daurala, Kapashera, Bamnauli, Sarai Kale Khan and Narela will also be constructed.
Apart from bus depots, new bus terminals will also be erected in Sectors 4 and 12 of Dwarka, Vikaspuri and Narela. The one located in Nehru Place, Azadpur, Najafgarh and Central Secretariat will be renovated.
For all these, Rs 150 crore have been allocated.
In the budget, Sisodia also proposed a new scheme for the construction of bus queue shelters to protect bus commuters from the elements and to provide a place where senior citizens and women can sit. The government will construct 1,397 bus queue shelters, for which Rs 50 crore have been set aside.
A sum of Rs 500 crore has been allocated for Phase IV of Delhi Metro Project, comprising six corridors with the length of 104 km, while Rs 80 crore have been allocated for the installation of GPS-based CCTV surveillance system in DTC and cluster buses. Tenders for this project have been invited and the work will be awarded after the evaluation of the tenders, Sisodia said.