NGT asks Delhi government to increase fleet of destination buses

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The green panel directed the authorities to ensure that at least four buses each should start on an experimental basis from far-off areas like Dwarka, Rohini, Janakpuri and Badarpur border and terminate at places like CGO complex, Nehru Place and Shastri Bhawan near Central Secretariat.(PTI)

The National Green Tribunal today directed Delhi government to increase the fleet of destination buses which are to introduced in the city from May 1. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar noted that AAP government’s proposal to launch 20 point-to- point buses at the outset will be too less and asked it to increase the number to at least 40.

“NCT Delhi is directed to increase the number of destination buses and also include Patparganj in the list from where these buses would originate. From 20 buses, it should be increased to at least 40 so that more number of people can avail the service,” the bench said. The green panel also directed the authorities to ensure that at least four buses each should start on an experimental basis from far-off areas like Dwarka, Rohini, Janakpuri and Badarpur border and terminate at places like CGO complex, Nehru Place and Shastri Bhawan near Central Secretariat.

It also sought a detailed status report with regard to the impact of these buses on reduction in pollution in the city and directed the authorities not to stop this service unless directed by the tribunal. The apex environment watchdog said the primary objective behind the introduction of this service is to reduce the vehicular load including cars and two-wheelers on the roads.

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It said two-wheelers are a serious source of air pollution and asked the traffic police to strictly challan polluting vehicles. “We make it clear that challans recovered by the traffic police under the Motor Vehicles Act would be in addition to the fine which the tribunal may impose for causing environmental pollution and congestion on roads leading to pollution,” the bench said.

The tribunal had yesterday directed city government to introduce destination buses from May 1, in a bid to help improve the air quality in the national capital. The green panel said these services will start from spots where it is convenient for the public at large.

The NGT had said introduction of such bus services would facilitate an individual to opt for such a service, rather than driving a car alone on highly-congested roads. “The NCT Delhi and traffic police will duly advertise about the introduction of destination buses from April 25 for informing the public,” the bench had said while seeking a status report within four weeks.

The green panel also directed the Delhi Transport Corporation to maintain these buses and engage their staff for cleaning and maintaining them. The tribunal had earlier pulled up the Delhi government for not starting these point-to-point bus services till date despite its order. Destination buses are the ones which ply from one point to another without any halt in between.

It had also asked the AAP government to encourage those using public transport by providing incentives to them.