Thursday, February 4, 2010

Due to non availability of low floor buses Govt allowed Semi low-floor buses

At a time when the government is expediting the Blueline phase-out process and ordering removal of all Blueline from south Delhi from next month, Delhites can expect relief on ground too. The government, on Wednesday, took a decision to allow semi-low floor and standard floor buses on city routes. This, in effect, means that the first cluster of the corporatization scheme which was initiated as a replacement of Blueline will get operational before the Commonwealth Games.

Even though the cluster had been awarded to a private operator last year, there was no certainty on when the buses would start plying as the only two manufacturers supplying low floor buses in the country are anyway stretched with the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) order for 3,125 low floor buses. The government’s decision now gives the operator the choice of bringing in semi-low floor buses on the new routes, which match the specifications cleared by the Centre for buses being procured under the JNNURM scheme, for Delhi as well.

To ensure comfort and riding quality, the government has put a clause that DTC can only get low floor buses.

‘‘As per the final transportation plan for Delhi, DTC will run 60 percent of buses on all routes. We have taken a decision that the DTC fleet will only have low-floor buses. But the private corporate running buses on the 16 clusters can now bring in semi-low floor buses too,’’ said transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely. ‘

The rest of the parameters like GPS, control rooms, etc will remain the same. The semi-low floor buses cost much lesser too making the running of clusters more lucrative for private players.

Lovely added that the first cluster will now get operational before the Commonwealth Games, which essentially means that south Delhi will have an additional 300-odd buses plying on the roads. The government is in the process of allotting the other 15 clusters too.

Meanwhile, chief minister Shiela Dikshit announced on Wednesday that Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) will take up construction of 250 modern bus shelters on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, like the one adopted by New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and of another 800 bus shelters through a tendering process at a total cost of Rs 96 crore.

The government has put in a request with the Union Ministry of Urban Development to sanction at least half the amount from the Delhi Development Fund. The new bus shelters will come up on routes leading to Commonwealth Games venues.