Saturday, July 20, 2013

Shortage in Bus Manufacturing Leading to Scrapped Buses Plying on the Delhi Roads

Published in DNA India 
1,600 'scrapped' buses still on roads

If you commute by DTC buses, you could be putting your life at risk.

This is because the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) continues to operate more than 1,600 ‘scrapped’ buses that have more than lived out their lives.

Even though the buses have been declared unfit to ply on the streets for more than a decade, they continue to be on roads thanks to the Corporation’s indifferent attitude in phasing out the ‘ghost’ buses and bringing in new ones.

The city requires an estimated 11,000 buses for its transport needs. The Corporation runs 5,399 buses of which 1,624 are standard floor buses that were to have been phased out because the buses have either completed eight years on road or travelled 6 lakh km.

“These standard floor buses meet both the criteria,” said a DTC official on condition of anonymity. “In fact, all the buses met both the criterion between 2001 and 2003. Still, they continue to ply and end up breaking down on roads most of the times.”

The city has 3,775 swanky green- and cherry-coloured low-floor buses and another 620 orange cluster buses. With lakhs of daily commuters, the buses do not meet even half of its requirement. On an average, 100 DTC buses break down every day, officials concede. A majority of these are standard floor buses, some of which don’t even make it out of the depot.

The official said that the DTC lacks adequate number of buses which forces it to run the scrapped buses. The state government had told the Delhi High Court that of the 11,000 buses required, the supply would be equally shared by the DTC and cluster (private) buses.

“The ratio for buses was 50:50, but due to authorities’ lackadaisical attitude, the buses failed to arrive,” the official said.

The government was to procure 625 buses in the first phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). However, two years down the line, even the tenders to procure these buses have not been finalised.

“Another 1,100 buses were to ply on roads in the second phase, but after a year of planning, no decision has been taken on these either,” said the official.

“The plan exists only on paper, and commuters bear the brunt of the government’s negligent attitude.”

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