Delhi’s public transport on the brink of collapse: BJP

A day after the Delhi government said that the Capital’s public transportation fleet was at its highest ever with 7,081 buses, the Bharatiya Janata Party accused it of cheating the Capital’s citizens in the name of improving the public transportation infrastructure in Delhi over the last seven years.

Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his colleagues were misleading the people of Delhi by saying that the fleet of public buses in Delhi had gone beyond 7,000 because all the new buses on the roads belonged to private operators. 

He added that while the number of buses on the fleet of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) had gradually decreased, most buses that remained on the fleet were either beyond their operational age or on the brink of becoming redundant.

Poor maintenance

“When Kejriwal came to power in Delhi in 2013-14, there were 5,223 buses on the DTC fleet, now this number has reduced to only 3,762. More than 25% of the buses (or 2,644) have been taken off the roads after completing 12 years of age or having operated more than 7.5 lakh kilometres,” Mr. Bidhuri said.

“The remaining 1,118 buses are also going to complete their life soon. In this way, all these buses are going to go off the roads. Driving these buses on the roads has become so dangerous that they are catching fire every other day,” he added.

Commenting on the losses incurred, Mr. Bidhuri said, “The loss of the DTC has increased to ₹2,000 crore annually. This situation is when the employees have been retrenched and the contractual employees have not been confirmed. Due to the wrong policies of the Kejriwal government, the public transport in Delhi has collapsed.” 

The LOP also questioned AAP’s 2020 poll promise of ensuring 11,000 public buses in the city, adding that in the last seven years only two electric buses had been inducted into the DTC. 

“This means that 3,762 buses are going to be removed and to compensate only 2 buses have been brought. For the last five years, the Kejriwal government has been bluffing the public by saying that it is bringing 5,000 buses to the DTC but could not even bring five buses,” Mr. Bidhuri said.

Government clarifies

In response, a senior Delhi government official said that the number of public-run buses in Delhi was at its highest at 7,081 was a fact after the induction of 80 low floor AC buses on Wednesday irrespective of whether these were owned by the DTC or being operated through the cluster model.

“As far as we are concerned, the number of buses had never crossed the 7,000 mark as it has now; no matter who owns them, they are operated for the public,” the official said.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2022 9:37:31 am |