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Delhi government looks to rent space to park buses

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New Delhi, With ambitious plans to buy 10,000 more buses, the Delhi government is considering a proposal to rent space in the city to park the huge fleet.

Even now, the administration finds there is not enough space to park at night it’s 4,700 Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and 1,300 ‘cluster buses’, which operate on a public-private partnership basis. BusesDelhiDTC

“We are exploring the possibility of renting open space for parking buses at night,” a government official said.

The DTC claims to run the world’s biggest fleet of buses operating on clean fuel. Along with Delhi Metro, it offers the cheapest mode of public transport in the capital.

There are 46 DTC depots in the capital now. Officials say they together cannot accommodate even the entire existing fleet.

This forces drivers to park hundreds of buses by the roadside at night, leading at times to harassment at the hands of Delhi Police, who don’t report to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-controlled Delhi government.

The Delhi government needs land to create more bus depots. But land is a central government subject in the National Capital Region. And land is costly too.

“We will see if large chunks of land like school playgrounds and other areas are available at night on rent,” the Delhi government official said.

“At times, police harass bus drivers because they park their vehicles at non-designated spots,” the official said. “It is all because of the land crisis in the capital.”

The official said the city government needed 200 acres to park its fleet of buses but had only 10 acres of dedicated space at its disposal.

“In any case, the depots are small in size and always crammed,” he added.

In order to encourage people to switch to public transport, the Delhi government has announced that it will buy 10,000 more buses. It says the central government is not giving it land for more bus depots.

Recently, the city government sought 500 acres from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the capital’s land owning agency which is controlled by the central government.

“One acre of commercial land costs about Rs.50 crore. You can imagine that we will have to shell out thousands of crores of rupees just to create bus depots,” the official said, adding that the AAP government didn’t have so much money to spend on this project.

About 4.5 million people commute by DTC buses daily. This comes to a poor ratio of one bus for 1,000 passengers.

“There is massive shortage of buses in the capital,” the official explained, detailing the woes of the capital where despite Delhi Metro’s services, public transport remains a major issue.

“The main reason is parking space. How will we augment the numbers of buses if there is no parking space? We don’t have space for the existing buses, let alone the required space for an additional 10,000 buses.”

(IANS)

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Delhi Smog: Odd-Even Car Rule May Return; Consider Cloud Seeding to curb Pollution : HC

The court said that though stubble-burning was the "visible villain", authorities should address the "other elephants in the room" such as dust generated by road and construction activity as well as vehicular and industrial pollution.

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pollution
Issuing a slew of direction as immediate measures to control pollution in Delhi-NCR, the court banned felling of trees, ordered sprinkling of water on roads to control dust. Pixabay

New Delhi, November 9, 2017 : The Delhi High Court on Thursday said there was an “emergency situation” vis-a-vis pollution in Delhi-NCR region and asked the Delhi government to consider vehicular odd-even scheme and cloud seeding to induce artificial rain.

The court also asked the Centre to hold meetings with Delhi and National Capital Region authorities to bring in short-term measures to control pollution immediately and to submit a report to it on November 16, the next date of hearing.

Issuing a slew of direction as immediate measures to control pollution in Delhi-NCR, the court banned felling of trees, ordered sprinkling of water on roads to control dust and strict enforcement of construction code to ensure that the air was not polluted.

A Division Bench of Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva also directed the Chief Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Control to call an emergency meeting with his counterparts in Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and pollution control agencies within three days to discuss ways to curb pollution.

The bench said the Chief Secretaries will also consider the feasibility of cloud seeding to bring down air pollution. This, the bench said, was not a very expensive process and Bengaluru had adopted it.

The court asked the Delhi government to consider bringing back the odd-even scheme — under which vehicles of odd and even registration numbers, with exceptions, ply on roads on designated days — to control traffic congestion and unclog the capital.

But the court questioned the government move to increase parking rates by four times.

“If somebody has to go to a hospital or buy important items, he ends up paying four times more for the parking,” the bench said.

The court said that though stubble-burning was the “visible villain”, authorities should address the “other elephants in the room” such as dust generated by road and construction activity as well as vehicular and industrial pollution.

“London has faced this kind of air pollution. They term it as pea soup fog, which is a killer fog. This is a deadly mixture of construction and vehicular dust and other factors,” the bench said.

The court also directed the Delhi government to conduct a survey of all hospitals in the national capital on availability of oxygen to deal with emergency situations with regard to vulnerability of children and senior citizens.

It told the Delhi government to strictly regulate the entry of trucks into the city.

The court was hearing a suo motu case it initiated in 2015 to control air pollution in the national capital. (IANS)

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Delhi government’s liquor license scam exposed

AAP has turned Delhi into liquor den.

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Delhi government's liquor license scam exposed
Arvind Kejriwaal,Delhi CM.Flickr
 • Illegal liquor licenses granted in shopping malls
 
• Swaraj India protests against illegal vends at Cross River Mall
 
• Illegal vends have turned the mall into a liquor den
 
• Liquor license scam, a perfect example of unholy collusion between AAP & BJP
 
• Arvind Kejriwal, who came to power on the promise of making Delhi addiction free, has today become the Badal of Delhi and Manish Sisodia another Majithia.
New Delhi, Nov 5: Newly formed political party, the Swaraj India has exposed a major scandal in the distribution of liquor licenses by the Delhi government. Party’s Chief National Spokesperson and Delhi State President, Anupam, said that the Delhi government is illegally distributing L10 category liquor licenses enabling dealers to open vends in shopping malls of the city.
The Delhi government offers licenses in the L-10 category to liquor vends in shopping malls of the city. Definition of shops operating from within a mall is clearly stated in the law and the rule mandates that all shops operating from within a mall should be opening up within the building only and cannot have an entrance towards the exterior side of the mall. But Delhi government and the mall management have created these liquor shops against the approved map of the mall. Every week, the Excise officials of Delhi Government are supposed to inspect liquor vends existing in the city, but not a single objection has been raised against these vends that are blatantly violating rules every single day.
And this has resulted in around a dozen liquor vends springing up in just the ground floor of the Cross River Mall. This has turned the shopping mall into a den of liquor vends leaving people living in nearby residential areas helpless. Neither the Delhi government nor the MCD and nor the Delhi police are even taking note of this broad daylight scam. “Is this not a direct sign that all the levels of the government and administration are complicit in letting this illegal trade grow?” Anupam asked.
Everyone in Delhi is well aware of how the employees of MCD don’t lose a moment to demand their share when any construction work begins anywhere. But when illegal constructions are done at such a large scale in a big mall, the MCD doesn’t even blink an eye.
Cross River mall is located in an area from where the Councillor, the MLA as well as the MP are from the BJP. The illegal license is being granted by AAP led Delhi government. It is surprising to see such a harmonious blend between the Aam Aadmi Party and BJP. Promoting liquor trade in Delhi seems to be such a profitable business for both the BJP as well as the AAP that it has brought together the two parties that are otherwise always at loggerheads. Are the black transactions involved in such liquor business the real reason why not a single question has yet been raised by anyone or any party?
Earlier in the last, the Delhi government has eased rules for granting the license to new liquor vends by reducing the minimum carpet area required from 1000 to 500 square feet. And now, in clear dereliction of rules, even vends are being run in the shopping malls.
 On Sunday, Swaraj India’s Mahila Swaraj Morcha protested against the numerous liquor vends in Cross River Mall of Delhi and demanded that the liquor shops be closed down. And in this mall in Shahdara, around a dozen liquor shops have been opened up by granting illegal licenses of the L10 category. And outside this mall, that has been turned into a den of liquor vends, a crowd of drunkards creating an atmosphere of hooliganism has become a daily affair. There has been a continuous increase in crime in the drunken state, where eve-teasing & snatching have become a regular affair.
Sarvesh Verma, President of the party’s Mahila Morcha, said that Arvind Kejriwal who rode to power on the promise of making Delhi an addiction-free city has today become the Badal of Delhi with Sisodia as another Majithia.
Anupam said that though the Delhi government’s anti-women policies will result in the promotion of alcohol addiction but Swaraj India will not let these nefarious plans succeed. The party has earlier as well launched mass agitations against the granting of liquor licenses in residential areas of Delhi, because of which the Delhi government was compelled to announce a ban on the distribution of new licenses. If the government does not immediately order an investigation into the illegal L10 vends and stop this unholy collusion, the Mahila Swaraj Morcha of Swaraj India will take this agitation ahead for the betterment of Delhi.

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Odd-Even Scheme May Return to Delhi as Air Quality Worsens

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Odd-Even May Return to Delhi
Odd-Even May Return to Delhi as Air Quality Worsens. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 26: With the air quality in Delhi and NCR increasingly getting worse ahead of winter, the city government has said it may bring back the odd-even scheme to limit the number of cars on the roads.

In a letter written on Wednesday, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to gear up for implementation of the odd-even scheme — under which private vehicles with odd registration numbers will be allowed to run on odd dates and those with even numbers will run on even dates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Weekends and public holidays were exempted from the first two rounds of the vehicle rationing Odd-Even scheme. Others exempted included CNG and electric cars, two-wheelers, cars driven by women and vehicles with a woman driver with a male companion below 12. Vehicles for medical emergencies, occupied or driven by people with disabilities, VVIPs, and enforcement cars were also allowed to run on all days.

The Minister also directed DTC to “chalk out an action plan for procurement of buses/conductors and submit the same within seven days”.

“With the increase in pollution level in Delhi the government may have to resort to emergency measures, including implementation of the odd-even scheme,” the letter read.

“It is, therefore, essential that the Transport Department/DTC/DIMTS are fully geared up for implementation of the scheme as and when the same is announced.”

The Odd-Even Scheme to curb Delhi’s toxic air was introduced first on January 1, 2016. The second phase was rolled out on April 15 that year. Violators were fined Rs 2,000 on the spot.

The air quality has been worsening in the capital. On Thursday, the average air quality index was “poor” even as most areas in the capital reeled under “very poor” and some suffered “severe” air pollution levels.(IANS)