Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTMETRO - Parvez Sul­tan parvez.sul­tan@hin­dus­tan­

NEWDELHI: The Delhi De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (DDA) has con­tested the claim of trans­port min­is­ter Kailash Gahlot who said that the pos­ses­sion of land al­lot­ted for con­struc­tion of bus de­pots was not handed over to the gov­ern­ment de­spite pay­ment.

A se­nior DDA of­fi­cial on Tues­day said the au­thor­ity had not re­ceived pay­ment for 46 acres al­lo­cated to the gov­ern­ment for bus de­pots three years ago, af­ter the Mil­len­nium Park Bus De­pot was closed.

“The pos­ses­sion has al­ready been given to the gov­ern­ment though the pay­ment was not made. The DDA is yet to re­ceive about Rs 200 crore. In Oc­to­ber, the gov­ern­ment sent a let­ter cit­ing a sanc­tion order for Rs 80 crore. But no money was trans­ferred,” said an of­fi­cial.

Ac­cord­ing to the DDA, the gov­ern­ment was pro­vided land in 2014 at three lo­ca­tions — Karkari Mod, Narela, and Rani Khera — for the bus de­pots.

On Mon­day, Gahlot wrote to Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor (L-G) Anil Bai­jal re­quest­ing that the DDA be di­rected to al­lot 135 acres of land, prefer­ably in south and east Delhi, to fa­cil­i­tate con­stric­tion for bus de­pots.

Jus­ti­fy­ing his de­mand, the min­is­ter told L-G that ad­di­tional land would en­able the gov­ern­ment to in­crease its fleet of buses to 11,000 from the present 5,594.

The min­is­ter wrote to the L-G af­ter the gov­ern­ment drew flak for its in­abil­ity to aug­ment the fleet of Delhi Trans­port Cor­po­ra­tion (DTC) buses . In the let­ter to L-G, he said due to short­age of space at bus de­pots, the gov­ern­ment is un­able to pro­cure more buses.

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