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Bientôt un service de minibus dans Chandni Chowk

New Delhi, May 21, 2007 :

Dream of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to launch minibus service in Chandni Chowk is likely to come true soon. A private transport company in consultation with the state transport authority is geared up to launch ‘Chandni Chowk sewa’, a 4-km CNG minibus service.

The service is likely to be started from the next month. Two years ago, the Standing Committee, MCD, passed a resolution to remove rickshaw from Chandni Chowk. Rickshaw is a major cause of slow movement of traffic in the area.

Green in colour, these minibuses have a capacity of 13 to 22 seats.

They have a low floor with a height of just nine inches from ground. Their entrance is at least one and a half times wider than that of usual buses. The space behind the driving seat has been left unused for the passengers to keep their luggage.

Various features make the bus comfortable for a physically challenged person.

“Since the seats are arranged not sideways but facing each other, the gangway is wider making it easy for a disabled person to move about in the bus,” said S. P. Singh, advisor to Chaudhary Transport.

All the necessary infrastructure like parking space has been provided by the Delhi government.

The MCD will ban all cycle rickshaws on these routes when the buses are ready to roll out.

“All the rickshaws will be restricted to side roads till the plying hours of these buses,” sources in the MCD said.

“It will not lead to unemployment for any rickshaw puller, contrary to what some people are saying, as those with licences will be able to continue working in the rest of the city zone,” sources said.

The cycle rickshaw will not be allowed on these routes from 9 am to 8 pm. Any other form of motorised vehicle will not be allowed either anywhere on the above-mentioned stretches.

Bus stops have been created at specific points on both these routes.

The ticket price has been fixed at Rs 5 per trip.

Initially, permits have been provided to 10 buses for the Chandni Chowk and Fatehpuri route. Additional buses will be permitted on this route whenever required.

The minibus services come in the wake of a Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) study which focused on decongesting the walled city.

The dry run of the minibuses has already been done and the ‘Chandni Chowk Sewa’ was scheduled to hit the streets in the first half of May.

“The registration of the buses was, however, stopped and the deadline further extended due to a High Court order making it mandatory for the driver and helper to be 12th and 10th pass respectively,” said Vijendra Chaudhary of the transport company.

“We were not told of any such requirement earlier. We have the buses ready but now we do not have the drivers. Earlier, the drivers were required to be 8th pass,” said Mr Singh.

“We have given the advertisements in all the newspapers but there are not many 12th pass drivers,” he said.

The ‘sewa’ will be a much-needed relief for traders and those visiting the old city

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