'Next lot of cluster buses only by April'

The standard floor buses of DTC which have outlived their utility and life-cycle will stay on the roads for sometime, as the phasing out of these buses would start only after the next lot of cluster buses are rolled out.

This is only going to happen in the first week of April. DTC continues to run several standard floor buses which have passed the time period of their use. While the operation cost of such buses is high due to higher maintenance cost, they also pose threat to people on the road when they break down suddenly.

Transport Commissioner R Chandramohan told Deccan Herald that lack of depots and bottlenecks in finding land for new depots are delaying the roll out of new cluster buses. “Finding land for depots is delaying the introduction of more buses. However both DDA and DTC have been responsive within their given constraints. In the first week of April 2012, next lot of buses will be made operational,” Chandramohan said.

Delhi Transport Minister last year, had set a target of rolling 4,000 cluster buses on roads by the end of 2012. However, since the start of operation of cluster buses in May 2011, only around 200 buses have come on the roads.

The commissioner added that the DTC has planned to augment its fleet with more  buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission and with it the phasing out of the old buses will be taken up in a periodical manner.

“At present as only three of the 17 bus clusters are functional, DTC is not in a position to withdraw them at one go. It will affect the services in the rural areas where low floor buses find it difficult to operate due to road conditions,” he said.

The Commissioner ruled out rationalisation of DTC bus routes to provide last-mile connectivity to metro commuters. “DMRC will be shortly introducing its feeder bus services, providing last mile connectivity. DTC has no plans for the present to review routes, which  were drawn up after a comprehensive review last year, at the time of the introduction of cluster bus service scheme,”
Chandramohan said.

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