Delhi govt defends bus depot on Yamuna bed, won't dismantle

Asked whether government will dismantle the Millennium Park bus depot as land for it was given to Delhi Transport Corporation by DDA to park buses only during Commonwealth Games, Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta said it will continue to function.

Various environmental organisations are demanding dismantling of the depot, saying it will adversely affect the river Yamuna and the ecosystem surrounding it.

The bus depot, spread over a 60 acre plot and built at a cost of Rs 61 crore, has parking space for around 1,000 low floor buses besides various other facilities including five workshop-cum scanning centres, a logistic centre and two CNG filling stations.

Rejecting demand of the environmentalists to dismantle the depot, he said the facility is "extremely important" for smooth function of the DTC bus service.He said when the private operators start their cluster bus services, then DTC will require parking facility for 10,000 buses whereas currently DTC has parking facilities for only 7,000 buses.

"We need to create parking facilities of 3,000 buses at critical points in the city. Not only parking, we need washing areas, maintenance areas, quarters for maintenance staff for smooth functioning of the bus service," he said.

Asked whether land was given on a temporary basis, Mehta said the government had said it will not build office blocks and other kinds of facilities and only create facilities barely required for the depot.

"They (environmentalists) are opposing the facility saying it will adversely affect the Yamuna. But what about the air pollution. Yamuna can be cleaned but if we do not modernise our bus services then it will lead to air pollution," he said, defending the depot.

The depot was constructed to park buses which were used to ferry athletes and officials during the Games.

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