Commuters of south Delhi will start facing problem of shortage of buses from Saturday with one of the five operators of cluster buses has decided to shut down its services because of poor implementation of the cluster scheme of Delhi government. According to sources, Star Bus Services Private Limited, which operates 120 buses in south Delhi, has sent a termination notice to transport commissioner on Friday.
Of the 6,000 buses in Delhi, 1300 runs under cluster scheme, where private players manage the operations. Hindustan Times, last week, had reported that operators of these buses are facing loss of over Rs 3 crore every year and have written to government to resolve the issues they are facing otherwise they will be forced to stop the bus service.
“Areas like Greater Kailash, Ambedkar Nagar and residential areas around erstwhile BRT corridor will be affected. Around 1.5 lakh commuters use these buses to commute from south Delhi to central and east Delhi and this particular operator plied on four routes,” said a senior transport department official. Services on route number 522 (Ambedkar Nagar to New Rajender Nagar), 534 (Mehrauli to Anand Vihar ISBT) and (Ambedkar Nagar to Old Delhi railway station) will be affected.
Delhi has been divided into 17 clusters and 4-5 operators’ runs orange colour standard floor buses under these clusters. As per the contract, the operators can withdraw buses if they are unable to run it.
According to the termination notice issued by the operator, ‘Transport department has committed breaches of the agreement, which have had a material adverse effect upon the company and the project. The breaches have also caused significant financial and other losses to the company”.
“The cluster scheme has been executed badly and government needs to review it before planning to include more buses in it. Government has no space to park existing buses and they should first create depot. Buying more buses in not the only solution,” said one of the operators.
According to operators, the government had promised to review the clause of the scheme every year but after more than two years, no review has taken place. “Incorrect interpretation of clause has made the contract infeasible. The government deduct fine even in case of exceptional circumstances such as rain. We cannot complete trips if there is traffic jam everywhere,” the operator said.