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No bullet-proof buses for Delhi

Delhi Police and the Commonwealth Games organising committee want 300 bullet-proof buses for the Games to be held next October in the city, reports Anuradha Mukherjee.

delhi Updated: Nov 12, 2009 23:39 IST
Anuradha Mukherjee

Delhi Police and the Commonwealth Games organising committee want 300 bullet-proof buses for the Games to be held next October in the city.

However, the Delhi government is in a bind over it. Apparently, there are no suppliers that can provide these buses and that too at such short notice.

“There was a request for 300 bullet-proof buses. But we don’t even know if bullet-proof buses are available anywhere in the world — there are definitely no suppliers in India. But bullet-proof cars are available here,” said Rakesh Mehta, Delhi chief secretary.

“As of now we are not in a position to get these buses,” Mehta added.

The buses were recommended by security agencies to ferry athletes and foreign delegates from sporting venues to the Games Village, keeping in mind the threat of terrorist hits.

The government, which initially took up the proposal on the insistence of Delhi Police, conveyed to the agencies that they were not able to identity any companies in India or abroad which produced bullet-proof buses.

But given the constant picking by countries like Australia and Canada, the Delhi government was now trying to get the second-best option.

A Delhi government official, who refused to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) was in talks with Tata, that is supplying low-floor buses, to come up with a batch of “fortified buses”.

“These fortified buses may not be completely bullet-proof, but they can come with shatter-proof glass,” the official said.

DTC chairman Naresh Kumar, however, said it was too early to say anything. “Bullet-proof buses are not available off the shelf. We are talking to Tata. But it’s too premature to say anything.”