Govt plans budget hotels at bus depots

Six DTC facilities may be redeveloped, help generate much-needed revenue

The Delhi government has started firming up its plans to open budget hotels and shopping arcades during redevelopment of six DTC bus depots and Transport Minister Gopal Rai has been given a multi-media presentation on the issue.
  
The redevelopment of the bus depot and leasing out of commercial space is planned for creating financial resources and assets for the cash-strapped Corporation which ran out funds recently to
pay pension to its retired emloyees.

“Officials of the DTTDC gave a presentation to the minister, detailing the steps planned in the coming months for pulling down the old bus depots and constructing swanky structures,” said a transport department official.

Sources said the new multi-storey depot buildings will have enough space for parking the DTC buses and the front facades would carry a mall-type look.

“Sarojini Nagar and Patel Nagar depots are likely to be among the six depots being considered for the redevelopment,” said an official.

The new depots are likely to add to the public transporter’s parking facilities as it is hoping to add another 1,880 buses this year.

The experiment of leasing out bus depot space for commercial use is also likely to be extended to new depot being built in Karkardooma.

 “A private infrastructure transaction company, SREI Infrastructure Finance, will conduct a study and help DTC with the arrangements related to letting out commercial spaces,” an official said, adding that the corporation was studying the Master Plan for Delhi to identify the various purposes for which the land allotted for depots can be used.

The commercial spaces in the depots will have easy access from the DTC office areas visited by public for inquiry and getting bus passes made, said a DTC official.

There is no clear indication from DTC officials whether parking facilities created under the redevelopment plan would be shared with the private cluster buses for a charge.
“First we want to meet our own requirement. We are short of space for our own buses,” said a DTC official.

Sources said out of the three upcoming depots that will replace Millennium Depot, chances of letting out commercial space appeared to be most viable at the 42 acre plot at Karkardooma.

The DTC has around 30 bus depots and a fleet of nearly 5,000 buses. The public transporter, remains under constant financial strain due to delays in fare revision and some of the welfare responsibilities like operating rural bus routes that do not yield commercial returns.

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