Breakdown of Delhi buses rising with heat

Despite spending more than Rs 64 lakh per day for maintenance of its fleet, the soaring temperature of the city is leading to breakdown of many Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses. 

According to senior transport department officials, about 350 to 400 incidents of breakdown of DTC buses are being reported daily.

“The maintenance charge for low floor buses was Rs 2.50 per kilometre which has been increased to Rs 6-7 per km. About 92 per cent of DTC buses run on the roads of Delhi every day,” said a senior DTC official.

According to the officials, the amount of maintenance regularly goes to the depot managers of DTC terminals but the results are not satisfactory. 

Currently, the DTC has a fleet of 5200 buses which includes 1275 low floor buses of Tata and 2506 buses of Ashok Leyland. About 1,157 buses are being operated by DIMTS and the rest are old model DTC buses.

Sources say that almost 80 percent of the air-conditioned low floor buses are having trouble in cooling.

The maintenance cost for AC buses is Rs 4.10 per km for the first 75,000 km or a year.

After completion of either, the company charges Rs five for 1.5 lakh km or two years and after that, the maintenance charges reaches Rs 7.10 per km for 2.1 lakh km or three years. For the non-AC buses, the charges of maintenance are Rs 3.20, Rs 4.60 and Rs 6.50 respectively.

The annual maintenance cost is effective for three years in total, and was negotiated by the DTC after the low floor buses started breaking down, said official.

Increased light for stops

In a bid to make bus queue shelters safer for women, DTC has also asked bus conductors and drivers to report poorly lit bus stops. 

“Most of the new bus queue shelters have LED lighting,” a senior DTC official said, adding that the job would be finished in less than a week. 

Bus conductors and drivers have been asked to SMS their officials about poorly lit bus stops. The DTC also plans to rope in help from commuters to identify these dark bus stops.
  The DTC official said that the move is part of a bigger plan, prepared after the December 2012 gang-rape in a moving bus, to increase security in public transport vehicles. 

Considering that more than 4,500 bus stops in the city go nearly deserted at night, the move is likely to make travelling in the city safer at night.  

Earlier, as part of a pilot project, the transport department and DTC had decided to install two CCTV cameras each in 200 buses.

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