The Delhi government has fined Tata Motors Rs 4 crore for failing to ensure proper maintenance of its low-floor buses, the Delhi legislative assembly was informed on Monday.
"Of Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) which was to be paid to Tata Motors as annual maintenance charge for the low-floor buses, we have stopped payment of Rs 4 crore (40 million) as penalty," said Delhi government's Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely.
He was replying to a call attention motion by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader VK Malhotra who alleged a scam in the purchase of the low-floor buses.
Delhi government aims to phase out Blueline buses by March 2010. It has also announced commissioning of around 3,500 low-floor buses before the Commonwealth Games next year.
However, several of tehse buses have caught fire in the last few months. On Saturday, two low-floor buses of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) running on compressed natural gas (CNG) caught fire in separate incidents. No one was injured.
On demand of action against the erring company, Lovely said the government would not shy away from taking action.
"I will not tolerate carelessness from the company. We are not favouring any company. If required, we will not back out from taking action against the company under criminal proceedings," Lovely said.
He informed the house that the government has also stopped a payment of Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion) to Tata Motors which was to be paid for buying 321 low-floor buses.
The BJP leaders, however, demanded that the government should maintain complete transparency in the matter and should keep the house informed.