The Capital will get its first fleet of corporate-run buses by November-end. According to transport department officials, StarBus – the company that has signed an agreement with the transport department to run buses in Cluster 1 — has been given an extension of two months to start operations.
"The company was unable to procure buses as both Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland were busy fulfilling their previous commitments of providing buses to DTC and others in various states. The two bus manufacturers have completed their previous orders and can take new requests for buses," said a transport department official.
"StarBus has placed its order of buses and the manufacturer will start supplying them in a batch of 50 each. This is likely to start from November-end," the official added. Officials said they have got good response to Cluster 2 and hope to launch buses in the next 6-8 months.
The department had earlier divided nearly 650 bus routes across the city into 17 clusters, each comprising profitable and non-profitable routes to be run by a private operator.
"We have got the tender for Cluster 2. Once the Cabinet clears it, the bidder will bring buses on Cluster 2 routes within six months," said an official.
With 250-odd Corporate-run buses — to be introduced on 31 routes pre-defined routes in south Delhi — the DTC will be able to cater to Delhi better, the transport department officials said. According to an affidavit submitted in the court by the transport department, Delhi requires 11,000 buses to cater to the needs of its current population. The court had asked the transport department to achieve this figure by 60:40 model — with state-run DTC having 60% of the buses and private operators running 40%.
Meanwhile, senior transport officials said tenders received for three more clusters would be placed before the Cabinet next week. Officials said the expenditure and finance committee of Delhi government has already approved the tenders received by the transport department.
However, even after the Cabinet approval, it will take at least six months before buses on these three clusters will start operating.
"Once the Cabinet approves it, we will sign a pact with the bidders to start operations on Delhi roads," a transport department official said. Tenders for remaining clusters will be invited soon, he added.