They promised the most comfortable ride in town for just Rs 25 along with squeaky clean seats in dust free environs.
But barely after a year of plying on the city roads, the Delhi Transport Corporation's (DTC) gleaming red high capacity air conditioned buses are struggling to keep their promise of providing a cool and comfortable ride.
A number of passengers travelling on these buses have complained that the drivers switch off the AC to avoid heating up of the engine.
"It is as good as travelling in a Maruti 800. Why should I shell out more money to travel in an AC bus when it doesn't work? I might as well take the non AC buses at least I get breathing space," said Manju Singh, a resident of Dwarka sector 7.
While senior DTC officials could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, the general secretary of DTC Workers Unity Centre accepted that such problems have been occurring for quite some time and cannot be rectified.
"To ensure the engine of the bus doesn't heat up, the drivers are told to switch off the AC. Also, whenever the buses are stuck in traffic jams they have to switch off the AC. This is done because when the bus is not in motion and the AC is operational, it puts a lot of load on the engine and it can stop functioning," he said.
The problem is acute in buses plying on the long routes such as those running between Najafgarh to Nehru Place, Dwarka to New Delhi
railway station, Uttam Nagar to Nehru place, Vasant Vihar to Shahdara, Outer Mudrika, Mudrika among others.
"I have seen people vomiting in the buses when the AC is switched off as it becomes difficult to breathe. Even the drivers are helpless. The government should find some way to rectify this problem," said Asha Sharma, a resident of Gole Market.