Delhi transport department's ambitious project to corporatise bus service under the cluster scheme finally seems to be coming alive.
Janakpuri-based Star Bus Services Private Limited and the transport department will on Wednesday finally sign an agreement to run 231 buses on pre-defined 32 routes in south Delhi, which have been clubbed together under Cluster 1.
With the signing of the agreement, the company will be bound to introduce the first bus within six months and have the entire fleet rolling in the next 14 months.
That means, the first private bus under the cluster scheme will be running before the Commonwealth Games.
The company was declared the successful bidder in July 2009. Initially, the Delhi government took its time in clearing the project and later the company had shown its helplessness in procuring low-floor buses for his projects.
According to senior transport department officials, Start Bus Services will deposit Rs 20 crore as performance guarantee while signing the agreement.
Under the bus cluster scheme, the government had decided to rope in corporates to run buses on pre-decided routes on kilometre basis.
The department has divided 657 bus routes into 17 clusters and decided to have 11,000 buses in them.
While the DTC will run 60 per cent buses (6,600) on these routes, one private company in each cluster will run the remaining 40 per cent buses (4,400).
This is expected to eliminate the possibility of competition within the bus operators, the main reason behind rashly driven Blueline buses.
With the first cluster taking shape, the transport department has decided to call tenders for four more bus clusters with 31 routes each.
While two bus clusters include several routes plying on Mudrika (both clockwise and anti-clockwise), the remaining two clusters include routes covering New Delhi and South Delhi, an official said.