The Transport Department came up with eight depots that would be used to park the new cluster buses. The Delhi government would bear an estimated expenditure of around Rs 276 crore for the engagement of 1,000 buses under the cluster scheme for the first year of operations.
The Delhi Cabinet today gave its in principle nod to a proposal for procurement of 1000 CNG-run standard floor buses for the cluster scheme, subject to approval by the court. The proposal was deferred by the Cabinet earlier this week in view of court cases pertaining to procurement of buses by the government. “This is a very important decision which is in principle subject to the court’s approval. We hope the court will give a go ahead to it as there is scarcity of buses in Delhi,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told reporters after the Cabinet meeting. Each new bus would come equipped with three internet protocol (IP) cameras, panic buttons, in-built GPS and anti-skid features. The buses under the cluster scheme operated by Delhi Integrated Multi Modal System (DIMTS) were procured seven years ago in 2011.
Sisodia said that preparation for purchasing 1,000 new buses for Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) was also underway. The buses were last purchased for the DTC about 10 years ago in 2008. The Transport Department came up with eight depots that would be used to park the new cluster buses. The Delhi government would bear an estimated expenditure of around Rs 276 crore for the engagement of 1,000 buses under the cluster scheme for the first year of operations.
Under the scheme, the Delhi government had to bear the viability gap to meet the deficit between the actual payment to be made to the concessionaire and revenue (fare collection). Currently, the monthly deficit in operation of Cluster buses is about Rs 1.92 lakh per bus, said a government official. Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said Delhi required 11,000 buses, 5,500 buses each for the DTC and cluster scheme. Currently, the DTC runs 3,781 buses whereas 1,648 buses are run under the cluster scheme. After procurement of 2,000 new buses, the government would like to add 3,000 more to raise the number to 11,000, Gahlot said.
New depots, besides eight for cluster buses, were being constructed in East Vinod Nagar, Rohini, Mundera Kalan, Burari, Bawana, Ghumman Hera for parking more buses, he said. The Delhi High Court was hearing a PIL concerning procurement of 1,000 standard floor buses for the DTC, by the Delhi government.
The government and DTC had assured the high court that no contract for standard floor buses would be awarded till May 23, in the backdrop of objections that they were not disabled-friendly. The assurance was given as the court appeared inclined to stay the entire tender floated on March 15 for procurement of 1,000 buses.