Despite promising to double the fleet of city buses in five years, the AAP government has failed to add even a single new bus to the existing fleet of around 4,500 buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation in the last 10 months in power.
The DTC fleet, which carries over 4 million people across the city and NCR every day, is down to 4,500 buses from 6,204 five years ago after discarding worn-out vehicles.
While DTC spokesperson R Minhas refused to furnish details about the number of buses the public transporter is planning to procure, he said, “DTC management has sent a proposal to the transport department in this regard and will reveal the details only after the department responds.”
The transport department issued a tender for 1,880 buses few months ago but no bidder came forward.
“The procurement of these 1,880 buses has been scrapped for now as the companies are not interested. We tried to procure buses by removing the maintenance clause but that also did not work,” a source said.
Buying buses, for which a global tender has been floated, could even take a year, so as a short-term measure buses were being taken on rent but even that would take two to three months, the official said.
The DTC bus fleet strength has been reduced by a quarter in the past five years only.
The acute shortage of buses has hit government efforts to encourage the use of public transport as pollution levels are rising steadily.
It has also brought down the total ridership, hitting DTC’s financial health adversely.
More pressure on buses is also causing more wear and tear.