Friday, June 26, 2009

Games 2010: Govt allots land at power plants for DTC buses

New Delhi The Delhi government has made a temporary allotment of 13 acres of land at the Rajghat power plant and 16 acres at the Indraprastha power plant, to the Delhi Transport Corporation to set up parking lots for the Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in October 2010. Both parking lots will be exclusively for DTC buses.

Since Rajghat and Indraprastha are both thermal power plants, the land is currently used as an ash pond — a reservoir for the residue of the coal burnt to generate power. “Fly ash is useful for cement manufacturers since it an important raw material. We can dispose it by giving the residue to cement manufacturers. They will have to pay the transportation cost but as of now we have not fixed any charge for the raw material. This will leave the land free. Hence, the decision to use it as a parking lot,” a senior power department official explained.

Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta recently inspected the plots and has given DTC the go-ahead on construction. “This area will be a traffic hub during the Games. The Indira Gandhi Stadium, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the velodrome and the Commonwealth Games Village are all in the vicinity. These two spots can be ideal parking lots. I have given the DTC 12 months to complete the project,” Mehta told Newsline.

Mehta also added the two parking lots, combined with another at the Games village site, will provide space for up to 750 DTC buses.

The government is hoping to have a fleet of 1,500 low-floor buses by the time the Games roll.

“We need buses for the movement of spectators and Games personnel. There will also be special buses for the VIP traffic,” he explained. Officials said the parking lots may be used for VIP cars as well.

While the allotment is temporary, at least one of the parking lots may become a permanent structure.

“The Indraprastha power plant is set to be phased out by December 2009. It is possible the parking lot at this site will be allowed to continue. Since there is need for parking space in the ITO area, this may prove helpful,” a power official said.

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