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Delhi govt wants citizens to send bus stand designs, top 5 winners to be awarded

To ensure that more companies apply, the government has decided to give cash prizes to the top four designs, after the winning design.

delhi Updated: Sep 03, 2018 13:35 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi bus stand,bus stand,bus stop
A study by the transport department suggests that the city needs at least 2,000 more bus stands and the highest demand for this facility is in Outer Delhi areas(Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)

Cornered by legislators across party lines over “inadequate” bus stops in the city and after four failed tenders, the Delhi government announced a competition to select innovative designs for the construction of nearly 1,400 new bus shelters across the city.

Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said the competition is open for everyone and that the government would accept entries until September 24. He added that 1,397 bus stops would be built based on the designs selected by a special jury.

“This is the first time that the government is going for a design competition to identify the best models of bus stand. We are looking for innovative low-cost and low-maintenance designs with new materials or technology,” he said. In the coming days, he said bus stops could have interactive maps powered by solar energy, LED display panels showing the routes and digital advertising.

The decision to announce a competition was taken after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators and the opposition in the past two Assembly sessions, repeatedly criticised the transport minister for “zero progress” in setting up new bus queue shelters in Delhi. Till now, the state transport department has floated four tenders for the 1,397 new bus stands, but failed every time as no bidder came forward.

To ensure that more companies apply, the government has decided to give cash prizes to the next four best models. “Best five designs will be selected. While the winner will be awarded work as the project management consultant, the next four best designers will get prize money of Rs 2 lakh each,” an official associated to the project said on condition of anonymity.

A study by the transport department suggests that the city needs at least 2,000 more bus stands and the highest demand for this facility is in Outer Delhi areas. But, at present Delhi has only 1,874 modernised bus stops, even as the notified number on paper stands at 4,627 — implying that the remaining ones are either dismantled or in dilapidated condition.

Out of the operational bus stands, 1,594 were built in 2009-10, ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. In 2015, the AAP government had announced it would build 1,200 modern stainless steel bus shelters across Delhi, but the attempt was successful.

Explaining the problem, another official said, “Under the current model, which is the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, the concessionaire builds bus shelters and enjoys the rights to collect revenue from displaying advertisements. In turn, they pay a fee to DTC on every advertisement. But, the problem is that the concessionaire only wants to build these shelters at prime locations where they can get good ad revenue. As a result, less crowded, outer or rural areas get left out.”

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 08:12 IST