Delhi gets 23 more cluster buses

Bringing some relief to commuters in north-east Delhi, transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely flagged off new cluster buses on Friday. 

A fleet of 23 semi low-floor buses was introduced on Monday under the ambitious cluster bus service. The buses will become operational on route number 234 (Harsh Vihar to Karampura) from Saturday. 

“The route holds significance as cluster buses would be catering to the people in north-east Delhi for the first time,” said Lovely. 

The route starts from Karampura (Moti Nagar) and terminates at Harsh Vihar (near Nand Nagri). It will cover Zakhira, Shastri Nagar, Gulabi Bagh, Shakti Nagar, Delhi University, Bahjan Pura and Yamuna Vihar. 

The DIMTS official said with 14 buses of DTC already plying on the route, the cluster buses will be run at a frequency of eight minutes. The route will also connect to all the Metro lines, including Vishwavidyalaya, Shastri Nagar, Inderlok and Moti Nagar Metro stations. 

With the addition of 23 buses in cluster 3, the total number of cluster buses plying on the city roads now goes up to 217. Launched in May 2011, cluster 1 so far has 96 buses that ply on five different routes connecting south Delhi with central and east Delhi. Cluster 3, 4 and 5 combined have 98 buses that run on Ring Road and three more routes.
 However, the total number of cluster buses on roads is well below the target which was fixed last year. While the transport minister had set a target of rolling out 4,000 buses by 2012 at the time of launch of the service, he revised the target on Friday. 

“The major obstacle in rolling out buses is scarcity of bus depots. With two more depots at Sunehri Nullah and Barapullah likely to get ready in six months, around 1,000 buses would be rolled out under different clusters by the year end,” Lovely said.  

The transport minister also said the idea to take over at least one depot from the DTC is also under consideration. 

“The BBM and Rajghat depots are being considered to be taken up. A decision is likely to be taken soon,” Lovely said. 

The transport minister said the revenue generated by the cluster service is encouraging.  Their routes are also being rationalised to make bus services available on different routes for the convenience of commuters, added the minister.

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