Delhi

Gahlot flags off fleet of 32 cluster buses

The new low-floor air-conditioned buses during inauguration at Rajghat bus depot on Monday.

The new low-floor air-conditioned buses during inauguration at Rajghat bus depot on Monday.

A fresh lot of 32 air-conditioned low-floor CNG-propelled cluster buses was flagged-off from Rajghat Cluster Depot here on Monday, taking the tally of Delhi’s fleet of public buses to 6,793.

According to the government, 452 BS-VI compliant buses had been added to the fleet since March, 2020. The buses were flagged off by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot.

Number of routes

The total number of DTC and cluster buses running on Delhi’s road till now is 6,793 of which DTC has 3,760 buses and 3,033 buses are operated under the cluster scheme.

Currently, cluster buses are operated on 306 city routes network in Delhi. The additional 32 buses will be deployed on four additional cluster routes which include 993, 380, 390 and 244.

The first lot of 100 AC low-floor buses was launched on the city route network in February 2020 under the cluster scheme. During the pandemic period from March 2020, 452 new buses have been inducted under the cluster scheme.

According to the government, these BS-VI compliant buses feature modern technology, including real-time passenger information systems, CCTV cameras, GPS, fire detection and suppression system.

They also feature live video streaming in case of emergency, pink seats reserved for ladies, panic buttons for women’s safety and other modern facilities, along with being differently-abled friendly.

The safety of female passengers has been ramped up, the government stated. If a female passenger feels any discomfort, she can press the panic button following which an alert goes to the command centre and all the agencies that are there get to know the live location of the bus.

No purchase

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), the government admitted in reply to a question during the recently-concluded monsoon session of the Delhi Assembly, has not purchased a single bus since 2015.

On January 15 this year, however, the government stated in the reply to Ghonda BJP MLA Ajay Mahawar, a work order was issued to bus manufacturers to supply 1000 low-floor AC buses and for the supply of 300 e-buses to be engaged under the cluster scheme.

The last time such a work order was issued, the government conceded, was in 2008-2009. Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor alleged the Delhi government had failed to provide a strong public transportation system to the citizens of Delhi due to “inherent corruption”. A scheme announced by the Delhi government to buy 1,500 buses for DTC had failed and work orders were cancelled “after report of inherent corruption in purchase deal got exposed”.

“The Arvind Kejriwal government is now trying to take credit of bringing in few private cluster scheme buses and today’s inauguration of barely 32 cluster buses by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot is part of its dubious tricks. The government will not succeed in its plan as people very well know that cluster buses are private buses,” Mr. Kapoor said.


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Printable version | Jun 26, 2022 3:58:01 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/gahlot-flags-off-fleet-of-32-cluster-buses/article35948510.ece