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Monday, June 16, 2014

Dehradun's Vikram era comes to an end

Dehradun: Come Friday, it wouldn’t be the usual merry ride for vikrams seen darting around the state capital. The RTO Department has finally got down to implement restrictions and regulate the vikram menace which has plagued Dehradun roads for decades now. Hailing the blue wagon will now be similar to hailing a threewheeler autorickshaw, unlike the past where vikrams functioned like city buses and stopped at unregulated intervals to ferry passengers, at a nominal charge. The announcement has come as a shocker to the vikram owners, while the city bus operators have welcomed the new law.

At present 782 vikrams have been awarded contract licences on the various city routes, however the actual number of vikrams plying on the road is way higher, almost double according to some estimates. The license, which permits the vikrams to run like autos, has been misused by the vikram drivers for decades now. Interestingly mapping of the several routes, and allotting a fixed number of vikrams for every route was also done by the vikram owners association, to safeguard their interests.

The blue vikrams have been a popular local transport option for the masses. Autorickshaws are way to expensive for the common man, whereas vikrams take a fraction of the fare and can be conveniently hailed from the roadsides. The new law will certainly affect thousands of commuters who have been using the service for years now.

To effectively implement the law, special teams have been deputed to keep a check on the vikrams. A steep fine of Rs 5000 will be levied on anyone breaking the law, a repeat offence will result in scrapping of the permit.

Well Vikrams, are Dehradun’s unique public transport and the cheapest way to get around town. These vehicles are often crammed with around 8 passengers squeezing in. The Vikrams are numbered according to their routes through the city. Minimum fare is Rs. 4 and maximum is Rs. 10.

The Main Vikram Routes Are:-

1 Gandhi Park to Rajpur: begins at Gandhi Park and travels to the Rajpur-Mussoorie Road Fork.
2 Clock Tower to Sahastradhara/Raipur: begins at Clock Tower and proceed to Sahastradhara Crossing.
3 Clock Tower to Rispana Bridge: begins at Clock Tower, proceed to Haridwar Road and Dharampur, and then through Nehru Colony to Rispana Bridge.
4 Rispana to Doiwala: begins at Rispana Bridge and proceed to Doiwala.
5 Parade Ground to Clement Town/Majra/ISBT: begins at Astley Hall, proceed to Majra and the Interstate Bus Terminus.
6 Bindal Pull (bridge) to Kaulagarh Road: begins at Connaught Place and goes up to Kaulagarh Road.
7 Bindal Pull to Premnagar/ Chakrata Road: begins at Connaught Place and travels on Chakrata Road crossing Krishan Nagar Chowk, Ashirwad Enclave and FRI.
8 Parade Ground to Kanwali Road / Seemadwar: begins at Astley Hall, proceed to Saharanpur Chowk, before going to Kanwali Road towards Balliwala. The last stop on this route varies between Seemadwar/Indranagar, Anurag Nursery or Vasant Vihar Chowk.
9 Bindal Pull to Garhi Cantt
10 Premnagar to Clock Tower: very infrequent, goes via Kanwali Road
11 Majra to Shimla By Pass Road

Doonites' reactions:-
Anurag writes - Absolutely ridiculous step. The cause of problem was an oversupply of these vikrams and not their presence.. The city does not have sufficient transport infrastructure to support this kind of a move... Buses are infrequent and filthy..
Its like cutting off your left hand because it itches a lot..Once again the state authorities prove their short sightedness and an uncanny ability to make knee jerk reactions.

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