U.P. Minister to meet Sheila over bus row

Special Correspondent

Seven buses denied entry into national Capital: Agarwal

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Government on Wednesday condemned the Delhi Government's decision to ban entry of CNG buses owned by the State Road Transport Corporation from Noida to Delhi. Seven of the 22 buses that were flagged off by State Transport Minister Naresh Agarwal from Noida and Greater Noida on Monday were denied entry into the national Capital.

The bus issue threatened to snowball into a major confrontation with Delhi with the U.P Minister viewing it as a violation of the agreement on cross-movement of CNG buses into Delhi and U.P. which was signed on August 2, 2004. The agreement stated that while the Delhi buses would be allowed to run 90,000 km in Uttar Pradesh, the State in turn would be allowed to run 30,000 km in Delhi.

Mr. Agarwal told reporters that he would be meeting Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Thursday to sort out matters. He said he had had two rounds of telephonic talks already with Ms. Dikshit and was hopeful of a solution emerging in the meeting. Commuters had been put to a lot of inconvenience by the Delhi Government's move, he added. Mr. Agarwal said the ball was in the Delhi Chief Minister's court.

Describing the bus dispute as the outcome of Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf's "childish behaviour", Mr. Agarwal exclaimed that he could not fathom the reason for denying entry of buses into Delhi when they were operated on CNG mode.

He said while the State buses were allowed to run about 17,000 km in Delhi against the stipulated 30,000 km, the Delhi busses were running close to 1.5 lakh km in U.P.

He said while 1,200 State buses were plying in Delhi, 1,000 Delhi buses were moving in U.P.

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