Delhi government’s plans to replace Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) old buses with new ones seems to have came to a standstill with Transport department having rejected the bids received for 625 low-floor buses.
Delhi’s Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami said during the tendering process, only one supplier came forward and quoted a price which was “unreasonable”. “We had floated tenders for 625 low-floor air-conditioned buses. But only Tata Motors came forward. The new price quoted was 50 per cent more than the earlier rates and the maintenance cost had gone up more than 20 times,” Goswami said.
These tenders were floated in March. According to officials in the Transport department, a bus that costs about Rs 51 lakh, was quoted at Rs 76 lakh.
The Delhi government wants to replace 1,725 old DTC buses, which have completed their prescribed mileage of five lakh kilometres. The government had expected the supplier to carry out maintenance of the buses for
7.5 lakh kilometres run or 12 years’ operations, whichever came later.
The lack of interest shown by local suppliers has pushed the government to consider importing buses from Poland, Sweden and China. Transport department has asked manufacturers from the three countries to test their buses in Delhi, before they can be inducted into the city’s fleet. “We are in talks with manufacturers from Poland and would want to carry out a trial run to see if these buses can operate in the city before taking a decision on this matter,’’ Goswami said.
The government is unhappy with DTC’s Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland buses, claiming that they cannot cope with the situation and conditions in Delhi. The government is also looking at standard buses as an option. But these buses face maintenance issues.
DTC operates 5000-odd buses, with approximately 600 being run by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd under the cluster scheme.