After failing thrice in building new bus stands, the Delhi government is now planning to cut down the design cost of bus stops to attract more bidders.
A study by the transport department suggests that the city needs at least 1,400 new bus stands and the highest demand for this facility lies in Outer Delhi areas. The designs of the shelters to be built under PPP model are now being prepared by the Public Works Department (PWD).
Unlike previous times, building bus shelters is being divided into four phases now. “Bidders weren’t coming forward despite floating multiple tenders. So, it was felt that the cost of bus shelters should come down, as a result of which they are being re-designed now. Secondly, all 1,397 stands won’t be tendered for at one go,” a transport official said.
While shelters along the city’s primary routes are still in usable condition, those in North and West Delhi or on smaller roads and rural areas are in a dilapidated state.
Tri Nagar is one such assembly constituency that has been facing the problem for years. “More than 20 bus shelters were to be built here. But, the shelters are either in a deplorable state or they have totally disappeared. It not only discourages those who use public transport, but also causes congestion as buses stop wherever they want,” said Jitender Singh Tomar, MLA from Tri Nagar who had also raised the issue in the last Delhi assembly session.
Bus stands in Delhi were last developed ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010 by the then Sheila Dikshit government. Over 1,500 shleters were developed and modernised at that time. In 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party government had announced it would build 1,200 modern stainless steel bus shelters across the national capital, but the tender failed to attract bidders.
Earlier too, two tenders were floated — one in November 2013 and the other in June 2014. Explaining the problem, another official said, “Under PPP model, the concessionaire builds bus shelters and enjoys the rights to collect revenue from displaying advertisements at earmarked locations on bus shelters, and in turn pay a prescribed concession fee to DTC on every advertisement. But, the problem is that the concessionaire only wants to build these shelters at prime locations where he can cash in good ad revenue. As a result, less crowded, outer or rural areas get left out.”