Bus depot relocation: Land scarce, DDA tells HC

New Delhi, Jan 29: The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Wednesday expressed its inability before the Delhi High Court on providing alternate land to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to relocate its Millennium Bus Depot.

The bus depot was built on the Yamuna river bed ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

“Land is scarce in Delhi. What they are seeking is 40 acres of land. We are already short of 400 acres of land for garbage dump sites as sought by the Delhi government,” said advocate Rajiv Bansal, appearing for the DDA.

Justice Sudershan Kumar Misra posted the matter for Jan 30 while asking the DDA and the government to extend full cooperation to the DTC in relocating the bus depot.

Filing the affidavit before the court, the DTC had said that shifting the depot to another place will cost Rs.300 crore while it was built for Rs.60 crore on about 50 acres of land.

Additional Solicitor General Gourab Banerji, appearing for the DTC, told the court there were some “practical difficulties” in shifting the depot but it would be relocated by Oct 31.

“We have agreed to shift the depot. We will shift it within nine months,” he said.

Advocate Reena George, appearing for environmentalist Anand Arya seeking to shift the depot, said land had already been allotted for bus depot as per master plan 2021.

Earlier, in the affidavit, the DTC said it was incurring “losses” for years and the “civil works in relocation will take about Rs.100 crore along with another Rs.200 crore for a similar plot of about 50 acres of land”.

“The corporation lost around Rs.700 crore and it will have to take money from external sources, including the DDA, for relocating the depot,” said the affidavit filed Jan 23.

The DTC, in its response to the relocation decision, said in the affidavit it would comply with the government’s stand to complete the shifting within nine months while saying such a project usually took a minimum of 18 months.

“… it took more than 18 months over different periods to complete the present site,” the affidavit added.

It said the identification of an alternative site by land-owning agencies like the DDA and the government would take four to six months. The dismantling of the Millennium depot structure, preparation of an alternative site and completion of a new depot would take another 14-20 months.

A meeting was held Jan 15 at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office in which the decision to relocate the bus depot was taken.

IANS