Global tender for buying DTC buses

The Delhi Transport Department is considering floating a global tender to add more buses to its fleet. Indian bus-makers Tata and Ashok Leyland are not keen on supplying new low-floor buses to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), a senior transport official said.

The city has some 6,000 buses, but transport officials say that the city needs twice the number. 

The Sheila Dikshit government had also failed to buy 1,200 buses from Indian companies to make up for the shortfall. 

Sources say that the two Indian companies are finding it difficult to keep up with rising cost of bus maintenance. According to the contract, the two bus-makers charge Rs 2.50 per kilometre as ‘maintenance fee’.

The low-floor bus manufactures would hike maintenance fee to Rs 80 per kilometre if the transport department agrees to enter into a contract for buying new buses, a senior official said.

A year ago, Volvo had handed over a bus to the transport department for a test drive on city roads. Its maintenance was also taken care of by Volvo.

After the global tender, many more international bus manufactures are likely to join the fray. 

For now, the Delhi government plans to induct smaller buses to its fleet on a pilot basis. The transport department may invite Indian and foreign bus manufacturers to hand over two-three buses and run them on an experimental basis for a few months.
 The decision on procuring more buses of this size will depend on passengers’ response to them.

The government is trying to get funds from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Earlier, the Union Urban Development Ministry had advised the city government to run mini buses as it helped cut down fuel cost because the city generally has thin traffic post-noon.

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