Govt plans roadmap for better bus service

Days after the National Green Tribunal questioned its proposal to deploy 10,000 new DTC buses, Delhi Government has said that it is preparing a detailed roadmap to improve the public bus service.

The plans include getting 500 acre of land from Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for parking buses, floating a fresh tender for procuring an initial lot of 1,380 semi-low-floor non-AC buses and 500 midi- buses, and redesigning 1,260 km of roads under Public Works Department.

Earlier on July 20, the green tribunal had directed the Aam Aadmi Party government to come out with a proper study to support its plan of rolling out 10,000 Delhi Transport Corporation buses, twice what the AAP had promised in its poll manifesto.

Directive issued

According to senior transport officials, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has issued
a directive to the Transport  Department to prepare a  detailed plan to procure new buses.

Delhi government has recommended doing away with the annual maintenance contract (AMC) clause to invite new bidders, R S Minhas, DTC Deputy Chief General Manager, said.
 “DTC at present has a fleet of 4,706 buses, which is way below its requirement. An increasing number of breakdowns of buses had prompted bus manufacturers to express their reluctance to continue with the AMC clause,” he said.  According to DTC, 3,775 buses were procured in the past under the AMC clause.

Failed process

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai said the previous city governments had promised more buses, but the tendering process had failed the last three times.  The AAP government has resolved to “revamp” Delhi’s bus service, he added at a conference on Delhi Transport Vision organised here on Wednesday.

Rai said “improved” Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors will be brought back to discourage the “aam aadmi” from using their own cars and motorbikes to reduce congestion on the roads.

Delhi PWD minister Satyendar Kumar Jain said at the conference, “BRT was scrapped because of design fault, we will introduce improved corridors. We will also redesign the 1,260 km long PWD road and remove all encroachments on it.”

Earlier in July, facing criticism, the Delhi cabinet decided to scrap the BRT corridor between Moolchand and Ambedkar Nagar in South Delhi, constructed during the Sheila Dikshit tenure.

Three lanes

Jain proposed that in the interest of safety, there should be no more than three lanes on the roads without dividers.  “Having more lanes doesn’t solve traffic woes. We need to have more people boarding buses,” he said.  To achieve “large-scale expansion of bus service”, as promised in the AAP manifesto, the Kejriwal government said it has asked the DDA to provide 500 acres of land for parking 10,000 buses.

“DDA is not in our jurisdiction, but we can get them board,” Kejriwal said while inaugurating the conference. Earlier, the Delhi government had approached the NGT seeking a direction to DDA to provide the 500-acre parking space.

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