The soaring temperatures in the capital — which on Sunday saw the mercury shoot up to 447.8 degree Celsius — led to a staggering number of buses to breakdown. On Sunday itself, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) reported 643 breakdowns.
According to officials, an average of 600 buses had broken down daily in May this year, as opposed to 500 buses in May 2012. In the earlier months this year, the number was 400.
“Of the 643 buses that broke down on Sunday, 162 were standard-floor buses, which are very old and need to be replaced,’’ an official said.
Officials said increased wear-and-tear of buses coupled with the heat had led standard-floor buses, which had outlived their life span, to break down.
DTC officials said they were trying to improve the operation of their buses.
“As summer, most semi-floor air conditioned buses report a problem with the air conditioning. In the non air-conditioned buses, the breakdowns are related to engine defects and leakages. We are imposing penalties on bus manufactures and asking them to improve the overall maintenance of their buses,’’ an official said.
According to DTC officials, around 5,000 buses are operational currently. Officials said the DTC’s efforts to augment the fleet had failed to yield results.
“The breakdowns have increased in the case of standard floor buses and Ashok Leyland buses in comparison to last year. The number of breakdowns have reduced in the case of Tata buses,’’ a senior DTC official said.
“In another 15 days, we will go in for fresh tenders to procure buses. We are also looking at hiring smaller sized buses to meet the shortage in the city,’’ an official said.