Delhi’s DTC buses could become history by 2025 as 99% of fleet retires in 5 yrs
Delhi needs at least 11000 buses against the present fleet of 3951. Three attempts to buy new buses have failed in last four years because of tender issues.delhi Updated: Jul 19, 2017 11:45 IST
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is going to be history by the year 2025 if new buses are not inducted to its fleet.
The corporation is in a major fix as 99% buses of its existing fleet of 3951 will have to be taken off roads in a span of over five years. This is because its entire fleet is ageing as the operational life of a bus is 12 years or 7.5 lakh kms, whichever is later.
Out of the total fleet, 21 per cent buses are ‘over-aged’ which the corporation says are those that are running for more than eight years and will be withdrawn by next year. Besides, over 78 per cent buses are those that age in six to eight years.
The number is alarming considering the city needs 11000 buses as per a government affidavit submitted to the court and DTC itself is mandated to have 5500 buses.
“The issue has been raised several times in our Board meetings and has been conveyed to the Delhi government. We hope the process of procurement of 1,000 new buses is expedited,” a DTC official said.
The government has proposed to procure 1,000 new standard floor buses, but it would take at least a year-and-a-half until they are pressed to service. The matter is yet to be put up in the cabinet after which tender documents would be prepared. Tendering would take at least six months and the next six months will be needed in getting the bus to the city.
It has been over four years since buses were inducted to its fleet, even as three attempts to procure new ones have failed owing to tender issues, especially regarding their maintenance. The issue is that the maintenance cost of a bus is so high that manufacturers do not want to take the onus on them, officials said.
While there are 3,781 low-floor buses plying in the Capital, it is the 170 standard floor buses that are the oldest (more than 10 years old) and will be condemned in the coming months.
The DTC which is one of the oldest State Transport Units (STUs) of India is also worried that if things do not move quickly form here it would be left with only 6,517 employees by 2025 out of which 5052 will be regular drivers alone.
Between April, 2016 and March this year, 324 buses were sent to scrap. Last month, 76 buses were condemned. In the last six years, 2014-15 saw the highest buses being withdrawn (511) which was followed by 2012-13 (446 buses).