Delhi

SC gives nod for purchase of 500 standard-floor buses

The AAP government had sought permission to purchase 1,000 buses, but the court allowed it to buy only 500 for now.

The AAP government had sought permission to purchase 1,000 buses, but the court allowed it to buy only 500 for now.   | Photo Credit: V.V. KRISHNAN

The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Delhi government to purchase 500 standard-floor buses taking into consideration the dire need of more buses in the Capital’s public transport system.

A Bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan however clarified that, “This is only an interim measure to take care of the pressing needs of the Delhi commuters as there is shortage of buses”.

“I am particularly of the opinion that all buses should be low-floor buses,” the Bench said as they are disabled-friendly.

Hydraulic lifts

The Delhi government assured the top court that hydraulic lifts would be installed in the buses for the benefit of differently abled persons.

It had sought permission to purchase 1,000 buses, but the court allowed it to buy only 500 buses for now.

The top court’s order came on plea of the Delhi government and the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) challenging a June 1 order of the Delhi High Court barring them from procuring 2,000 standard-floor buses as they were not disabled-friendly.

The Delhi government had submitted before the top court that a meeting was held on June 19 by Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on the issue of wheelchair-friendly or accessible buses where it was agreed to have mechanical lifts fitted on all the buses proposed to be acquired under the cluster scheme.

Augment bus fleet

“The mechanical lifts will be installed by the Vehicle Manufacturers as Original Equipment Manufacturers [OEM]. The fitment of hydraulic lifts is also envisaged under the harmonised guidelines issued by the Ministry of Urban Development,” it had said.

The decision has been taken considering the dire need to augment the existing bus fleet, particularly on the rural routes identified for the purpose and the urgency of doing so in larger public interest and also specifically the need for disabled-friendly public transport, the city government had stated.

Shortly after the apex court order, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot tweeted, “Welcome decision by the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowing the Delhi govt to procure 500 standard floor buses. There is an urgent need to augment environment friendly public transport in Delhi [sic]”.

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 1:44:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/sc-gives-nod-for-purchase-of-500-standard-floor-buses/article24586413.ece

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