Delhi govt go-ahead for 4,000 new buses by May next year
The Delhi government on Thursday cleared a plan to procure 1,650 low-floor buses, all of which will be air-conditioned. The government, for the first time, also announced the roll-out plan of a total of 4,000 new buses and said all of it will arrive by May next year.
The proposals were approved on Thursday by the Delhi Cabinet chaired by chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who said the decisions were a step towards “huge expansion” of Delhi’s public transport infrastructure.
“Like the good work done in education, health, electricity and water, Delhi will soon become a role model in public transport also,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.
Barely three days ago, the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) had urged the Supreme Court to direct the Delhi government to expedite its bus procurement process.
Submitting a report on Delhi’s public transport infrastructure, the EPCA had said the government’s bus procurement plan “would not be sufficient”.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday after the cabinet meeting, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the government approved the Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) proposal to get 1,000 AC low-floor CNG buses.
“These 1,000 buses will come on Delhi roads between January and May, 2020. It is after almost a decade that the DTC will finally start getting new buses,” Sisodia said. The EPCA on Monday had highlighted that DTC’s bus fleet is “rapidly ageing”. It had said all of the operational fleet of the DTC are more than eight years old.
Delhi at present has around 5,459 buses out of which about 3,780 are operated by the DTC and 1,679 are under the cluster model. The government will add 4,000 more buses to its fleet even as the Supreme Court in a 1998 order had said Delhi needs at least 10,000 buses to meet its public transport demand.
The deputy CM said the first lot of 25 buses out of the total 4,000 new buses will arrive in the city by the end of this month.
“The procurement process of the 4,000 buses has been broken down into multiple packages for simultaneous and swift roll-out of the buses. By May, 2020, we are hoping Delhi will have 9,500 buses plying on its roads. This will include 1,000 electric buses, while the remaining 3,000 will run on CNG,” said transport minister Kailash Gahlot.
The Cabinet also allowed the state transport department to award work to successful bidders for the procurement of 650 more buses. Gahlot said these 650 AC low-floor CNG buses will be a part of a total of another 1,000 such buses that will be inducted under cluster scheme.
“Work for 650 buses (of the 1000) will be awarded in 15 days. The tender for the rest of the 350 buses will be opened on July 19 this year. These 1,000 low-floor cluster buses will start coming from December 2019 in batch of 165 every month and will be completed by April 2020,” the government said in a statement.
Sisodia said tenders for 1,000 electric buses have been done and will be opened on 2 August.
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