Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought an explanation from Tata Motors about the frequent fires in its low-floor buses being run by Delhi Transport Corporation.
“Have you made these buses for Delhi roads or for roads in foreign countries,” a bench headed by Chief Justice AP Shah asked the lawyer for Tata Motors.
Six fires in low-floor buses have been reported in less than a month’s time.
The court refused to accept the explanation that the fires had resulted from mere “short-circuit” and that Delhi’s roads were also to be blamed.
“We cannot accept this explanation that your (Tata) buses are fine but Delhi’s roads are not fit. If that was the situation then why you (TATA) agreed for supplying buses? We are not going to run these buses on foreign land.”
The court was hearing a matter pertaining to ending the Blueline bus menace. The HC is overseeing the Blueline phase out process.
The Bench had ordered that by Marh 2010 all Blueline buses operating in the capital should be replaced with DTC buses.
The counsel for DTC submitted before the court that a total of 3,125 buses are to be replaced and Tata Motors has so far supplied only 418 buses.
The counsel for Tata Motors assured the court that another 130 buses had been inspected and approved by DTC, and will be delivered soon.
The court however asked Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, another supplier of buses, to file an affidavit by January 20, stating by when they will be able to deliver the whole order of buses.
The incidents are a setback to Delhi government’s plans of phasing out the privately-owned Blueline buses before the 2010 Commonwealth Games and replacing them with 3,500 low-floor CNG-fuelled buses.
Each low floor DTC bus costs the Delhi government over Rs 50 lakh.