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Smog in Delhi forces UP to downsize bus fleet on the route

IANS | Lucknow |

With thick smog descending over New Delhi and neighbouring areas of the National Capital Region (NCR) and sharply cutting down visibility levels, the Uttar Pradesh government has cancelled four dozen buses plying from the state to the union capital, an official said on Thursday.

Officials said that the number of passengers has seen a steady drop over the past few days on the route to Delhi, thereby forcing the Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) to consider downsizing the number of buses plying between the two points.

Other than the normal passenger buses, the fleet of state-owned luxury buses including Volvos, Shatabdi and Scania.

“Other than the pollution in Delhi and adjoining areas, what has prompted us to cut the number of buses for now is the poor number of passengers who apparently are putting off their travel plans to Delhi owing to the ‘gas chamber effect’,” an official told IANS.

Some buses to Noida, Ghaziabad and Agra have also been cancelled for the time being.

A call will be taken by the higher authorities on restarting these buses on this route only after air quality improves in New Delhi, an official said.

The poor visibility also led to a car pile-up on the Yamuna Expressway on Wednesday, in which several people were injured.

The hazardous weather conditions have also hit Uttar Pradesh with various cities recording dangerously poor air quality.

Due to the smog that has descended on most parts of the state, as many as 17 persons have been killed in road accidents across the state in the last 24 hours, police said.