The National Green Tribunal today flayed Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) for running its air conditioned buses without passengers for a major part of the day.
Irked at improper maintenance of the DTC buses, the green panel also issued notice to the Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, which supply buses, and directed their senior-most official to be present on next date of hearing.
“Unfortunately, we also live in Delhi. Your huge buses ply empty for at least five hours a day. Have you rationalised on this aspect? It is shocking that nobody listens in DTC. Your buses are more than overcrowded.
“We are thinking about afternoon when most of your AC buses, which have a capacity of 60, are empty. After 9:30 PM most of your buses which go to airport have only one or two passengers. You are wasting government revenue, creating traffic chaos and causing environmental pollution,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The Tribunal’s observation came after DTC MD, who was present in pursuance to the green panel’s notice, told the bench that rationalisation and assessment of bus routes was an ongoing process.
Favouring small size buses during lean traffic period, the Tribunal said, “you should change your buses when traffic is lean and ply buses which are smaller in size. We are not asking you to stop the bus service rather you should change the size of bus.
“Do you know the cost of running these buses? How many buses have you tested for noise? What do you test the buses for? Have you ever seen a single bus which does not make horrible noise. Their noise is annoying. if anyone is behind that bus he will get mad within no time.”
The counsel appearing for DTC told the bench that per trip cost around the ring road is Rs 60 which includes CNG cost, driver and conductor charge and maintenance charge of buses.
With regard to maintenance of buses, the green bench said, “See it yourself whether you are satisfied with maintenance. If maintenance is okay there can be no hanging bumpers and rubber strips in your buses. Ensure physical inspection through your senior officers. If your message does not reach the driver and conductor then there is no point in the inspection.”