DTC buses' rate of breakdown high

Both low-floor, standard ones affected

The rate at which the DTC buses break down continues to remain high which exposes their maintenance level. While the breakdown of buses midway causes inconvenience for the bus commuters, in some cases it also leads to traffic jam.

The rate of breakdown of buses has consistently been around 400 this month, which inlcudes both low-floor and standard-floor buses. On May 31 and June 1, the number touched the 800 mark. While the standard-floor buses are old, the low floor buses were bought during the Commonwealth Games 2010 only.  

The standard-floor buses are maintained by the Delhi Transport Corporation, the air-conditioned and non-AC low-floor buses are maintained by Ashok Leyland and Tata – companies which supplied the buses to DTC.

The DTC officials blame the breakdown to bad roads. “The roads in some pockets of the city are really bad. Navigation of buses on such roads is a real challenge and it leads to breakdown of buses,” said a senior DTC official. 

 Apart from this, there have also been complaints of air-conditioners not working despite the Delhi Transport Corporation paying crores of rupees per year to Tata and Ashok Leyland in lieu of the annual maintenance contract (AMC).

The corporation pays at the rate of Rs 4.5 per km per bus for the first 75,000 km and Rs 5 per km per bus from 75,000 km-1 lakh km. It also conducted a special ‘crash course’ during March to keep its fleet, especially the AC buses, in proper shape before the fall of summer but still failed to check the breakdown of buses.

According to traffic police officials, on an average 25 to 30 vehicles including DTC buses break down in the middle of traffic across the city every day. It causes traffic disruption for a few minutes but sometimes traffic comes to a halt for hours.

Officials call for a stringent law to punish vehicles which break down on the road. 

“The current law does not act as a deterrent. A nominal fine of Rs 75 per hour of traffic disruption is slapped against such vehicles. The city needs a stringent law which makes the owner of such vehicles responsible for the breakdown and a heavy fine is slapped against the driver and the owner,” said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).

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