They have also marked out 11 bus stops along the highway from Mahrauli in Ghaziabad to Connaught Place in Delhi.
Ghaziabad residents, especially those living along NH 24, have once again resumed their demand for a UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) bus route from Mahrauli in Ghaziabad to Connaught Place in Delhi via the highway.
Residents say they are forced to take private vehicles to work in the absence of a feasible public bus route. This, in turn, increases congestion on the highway.
Moreover, residents say the buses that ply in the area don’t have short stoppages and hence, shared autos take advantage of the situation.
Residents have approached all concerned departments for a plausible solution but nothing has happened so far.
In response to a PIL filed at the Delhi court by a Vaishali resident in 2013, the court asked the state governments to undertake the process of reviewing the list of routes under the Reciprocal Common Transport Agreement, 2008, keeping in mind the development of residential colonies in Ghaziabad.
However, residents say the scenario hasn’t changed. They add they had approached the National Capital Region Planning Board in 2014, in response to which it had forwarded their request to the state government.
Residents requested for bus stands on both sides of NH 24, with these suggested stoppages:
(a) Mahagunpuram Gate, NH 24, Mehrauli, Ghaziabad
(b) Columbia Asia Hospital, NH 24, Ghaziabad
(c) Lal Kuan, NH 24, Ghaziabad
(d) ABES Engineering College/Crossings Republik, NH 24
(e) Vijay Nagar Bypass, NH 24, Ghaziabad
(f) Siddhartha Vihar, NH 24, Ghaziabad
(g) Sector 63, Noida Crossing, NH 24, Ghaziabad
(h) Sector 62, NOIDA Crossing, NH-24, Ghaziabad
(j) CISF Crossing, Indirapuram, NH 24, Ghaziabad
(k) Gaur Green City, Indirapuram, NH 24, Ghaziabad
(l) UP Gate Police Station, NH 24, Ghaziabad
Anand Kumar Sharma, a resident of Mahagunpuram, said that Ghaziabad, despite being part of the NCR since 1985 — and also part of the Smart City Plan — did not have even the basic facilities.
The newly elected Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi has also been made aware of the issue.
Pramod Rajkumar, a resident of Indirapuram, echoed Sharma's concerns. He said that a streamlined road transport system between Delhi and Ghaziabad would drastically bring down traffic on the highway. “City bus connectivity is the need of the hour. This has been a longstanding demand of residents in the area,” he added.
Speaking to City Spidey, PK Bose, regional manager of UPSRTC in Ghaziabad, said that plying city buses in the state does not directly come under the purview of the UPSRTC. “Such buses are run under the JNNURM [Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission] scheme of the Ministry of Urban Development,” he added.
However, Bose maintained that the decision to develop new bus routes and the procurement of buses was taken by the municipal corporations and development authorities, while the UPSRTC only handled the bus operations on the decided routes.
When asked if the route demanded by the residents was being considered, Bose said, “We have recently signed an MoU with the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation for the operation of buses in Ghaziabad, but the routes are yet to be finalised by the corporation.”
Graphics: Akash Mishra