The Delhi government on Monday approved the purchase of 4,500 modern buses by March 2006 to overhaul the city’s public transport system. This will be the largest buy ever made by the government.
In the face of a series of fatal accidents involving Bluelines recently, the government had assured the High Court to place before it a blueprint by November 15 to phase out the Blueline fleet. Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the 4,500 buses were part of a plan to bolster the DTC’s fleet to 6,000 buses by the end of March 2009. Dikshit said the government was aware of the need for new buses and would accelerate their purchase. The 4,500-bus fleet would comprise around 1,000 standard, CNG-fuelled buses, another 1,000 semi-low floor, CNG buses, 1,500 low-floor, non-AC CNG buses and 1,000 low-floor, AC CNG buses. The estimated cost: Rs 1,796 crore.
The Cabinet also sanctioned Rs 278 crore for procurement of land for 21 additional bus depots, construction of 29 more depot buildings, plant and machinery for standard floor height buses and additional expenditure in case of air-conditioned semi-low floor buses. “This would bring the desired improvement in the public transport system in Delhi,” Dikshit added.
The Cabinet approved a proposal for supply of electricity at reduced rate, which would directly provide relief to around 47 per cent households belonging to the poor and economically weaker sections in the Capital. A new slab of 0-150 units for targeting subsidy in an effective manner would be created by the Delhi Eelectricity Regulatory Commission (DERC). The government would provide a subsidy of Rs 110 crore per annum for this. Per unit charges would be Rs one less for all the consumers who use up to 150 units of electricity per month.
Interceptor sewerage system for Yamuna
The Cabinet decided to lay the interceptor sewerage system along major drains falling under the Yamuna river in another attempt to clean the river. The first phase of the project would be executed at a cost Rs 1,150 crore. This would cover Najafgarh, supplementary and Shahdara drains which discharge the maximum untreated sewage in the river. In the next phase, the existing capacity of sewage treatment plants at the mouth of the drains at Delhi Gate and Dr. Sen Nursing Home would be augmented. Construction of additional sewage treatment plants would also be undertaken. The total cost is estimated to be around Rs 1,954 crore. The Cabinet awarded the project to Engineers India Ltd.