World class transport facilities in Delhi for Games

July 19th, 2010 - 5:32 pm ICT by IANS  

By Rajeev Ranjan Dwivedi
(Attn Editors: This is the 10th of the 100-day countdown series for the 19th Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. The piece is about the transportation arrangements being made for the Games.)

New Delhi, July 19 (IANS) With the Metro rail expanding its services in the capital as well as to the neighbouring satellite towns and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) acquiring a fleet of over 3,000 modern, low-floor buses - Delhi is all set to roll out the best transportation services during the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games.

Over 100,000 foreign visitors are expected to throng the capital during the mega event.

Though the Blueline commuter buses that earned a sobriquet of “killer buses” will not be phased out before October, the city government willl be relying heavily on state-run buses and Delhi Metro.

“The plan is to take the fleet of Delhi transport buses to 6,528 before the Games. At present, there are 5,164 buses, of which 2,747 are the old standard ones. The rest are low-floor buses,” a senior Delhi government official told IANS.

The official said that an order for 3,125 low-floor buses was placed in September 2009, of which only 1,340 are left to be delivered.

A total of 574 dedicated buses will be put into service for ferrying athletes and delegates to the Games venues.

“Besides, 80 buses will be put standby in case of an urgent requirement. All these 654 buses will be fully air-conditioned,” the official added.

Delhi Metro is also set to cover a distance of 190 km before the Games, reaching out to the neighbouring states.

The only Metro projects that remain to be completed before the Games are the Central Secretariat-Badarpur line, the Airport Express Link and the Central Secretariat-Qutub Minar section of the line to Gurgaon. All three are scheduled to be completed by September.

The Central Secretariat-Badarpur line will ensure easy connectivity to three venues of the Commonwealth Games-Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium near the JLN Stadium Metro station, the National Stadium near the Central Secretariat Metro station and the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range near the Tughlakabad Metro station.

Moreover, 1,667 buses, bothAND 4 non-air-conditioned and air-conditioned, will be deployed as “park and ride” vehicles for spectators and will also carry people from nearest Metro stations to the Games venues. As per the plan, anyone having the Games tickets will be allowed two free rides on either a DTC bus or the Metro.

Keeping the Games in mind, the DTC place3 aND 4d orders for 2,500 buses in September 2008, of which 60 percent were provided by the Tata Motors and the rest by the Ashok Leyland group.

Recently, the government extended the deadline to Tata Motors to supply 625 buses by August 31.

Also, for the tourists coming to the capital during the Games, there will be a “hop-on hop-off” bus service which will be started by the Delhi government by Sep 15.

“The bus service will help tourists roam around the city. It will ply on selected routes divided in three sectors based on the location of historical monuments, markets and eateries,” Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta said.

Initially, 15-20 low-floor AC buses will be run on this service and the number will increase based on the response.

Also, training classes were held for the drivers and staff of these buses to make them disciplined and teach them how to behave well with the visitors.

Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the installation of about 1,000 bus shelters has started after proper levelling and construction of footpaths for the Games.

(Rajeev Ranjan Dwivedi can be contacted at rajeev.r@ians.in)

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