The Commonwealth Games gifted Delhi a swanky new bus depot, claimed to be the largest such facility in the world, on Thursday when chief minister Sheila Dikshit inaugurated the Millennium Park depot. The facility is located next to the Games Village and has the capacity to house 1,000 buses, which is 10 times what a normal Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) depot can hold.
The new facility will be used to park and maintain the fleet of 600 low-floor buses during the Games and another 600 Delhi Police vehicles required for securing the events. But the city will start reaping its real benefits after the Games when DTC will use it to shed 1,000 buses. This is the only DTC depot which has gates opening into three districts — east, south and north Delhi. The depot has the facility to repair 65 buses at a time as against the normal depot capacity of 3-4 buses and 10 more CNG filling pumps which can fuel buses twice as fast. For security and surveillance, this will be the only DTC depot with 37 CCTVs. It also has a logistics centre to track movement of buses.
This will ensure that buses running out of here don't record any deal mileage (kilometres spent to reach the starting point of the route) which is very high for DTC depots coming up on the outskirts of the city. Dikshit said the depot has been constructed keeping in view the Commonwealth Games but it will continue to be an integral part of Delhi's legacy. She further expressed confidence that it will be maintained properly even after the Games "to keep alive its sheen and utility".
Spread across a sprawling 60 acres, the depot is the largest in the world. "Till now, a bus depot in Israel with a capacity for 800 buses was the largest in the world. The new DTC depot is bigger than that and was constructed in a record time of one year," said Arvinder Singh Lovely, transport minister.
Dikshit said, "This will be the best ever Commonwealth Games which have happened. They gave Delhi the chance to expedite development work — we completed projects which would have taken 5 years in just two. Let me assure you that safety has not been compromised for the pace. All structures like flyovers, buildings, depots, etc, have followed the highest quality standards and are sturdy," she said. She also flagged off four hybrid CNG buses which will run on Delhi roads for the next two months on trial.
The new depot has been constructed by Public Works Department in a record time of one year. "Of the 24 projects assigned to PWD, 21 have already been completed. The other three, which include Barapullah elevated road, will also start by the end of the month," said Rajkumar Chauhan, PWD minister.