The Commonwealth Games might be just eight months away but the Delhi government is yet to procure a single of the 1,500 low floor buses that it had planned to buy specifically for the event.
These buses are to be purchased from the Centre’s share of funds sanctioned by the Union Urban Development (UD) Ministry under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).
The JNNURM is a reform linked investment programme where the Centre and state jointly fund urban infrastructure and transport projects in 65 cities across the country.
According to a status report prepared by the UD Ministry, of the total fleet of 1500 buses sanctioned by it under JNNURM, till January 6 the Delhi government has not procured even a single bus.
The UD Ministry had also sanctioned funds for procurement of 100 metro feeder buses under JNNURM of which till January not a single bus had been delivered.
Ministry officials are apprehensive that at this rate the Delhi government would not be in a position to acquire the entire fleet of 1,500 buses before the sporting extravaganza that kicks off from October 3.
“Earlier, the Delhi government said that it would purchase the modern low-floor buses on its own. It was only when they ran out of funds that they approached us to put these buses under JNNURM. We have already sanctioned the procurement of the buses and the government has placed the order. Lets see how many of these the manufacturers would be able to deliver on time,” said a ministry official.
Under JNNURM, which was launched in 2005 for a seven-year period, the Centre has allocated Rs 5,000 crore for procuring 15,000 low floor buses in 65 mission cities across the country. But till January 2010, only 5177 buses were plying on road.