Delhi government’s plan to ply 6,000 private buses on the city’s streets from January 1 for 15 days during the implementation of the odd-even policy for vehicles encountered starting trouble Thursday.
Only 93 of the planned 6,000 buses were registered by Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) for the ‘Kilometer Scheme’ on day one of the four-day drive.
A few more buses turned up as the registration was thrown open at Millennium Depot in East Delhi from 10 am to 4 pm, but did not make the cut due to lack of documents, said a DTC source.
A set of five documents — permit of contract carriage, insurance, registration certificate for the vehicle, pollution certificate and fitness certificate — is needed to get registered with the DTC under the scheme.
A transport union member cited lack of awareness and having only one registration centre as reasons for the lukewarm response. “Not many bus owners were informed. We sent WhatsApp messages to many, but few turned up,” said Shyam Lal Gola, general secretary of the State Transport Authority (STA) Operators’ Ekta Manch.
“The main problem was registration opened only at the Millennium Depot. Those in the north or in the extreme west did not turn up. I told Transport Minister Gopal Rai about the inconvenience and he agreed to decentralise the registration process to all depots,” added Gola.
The age of vehicles too is a grey area, he said. “The DTC said vehicles not older than 10 years could get registered. But most of the nearly 5,500 CNG contract carriages are over 10 years old. So the DTC is mulling whether to induct them in the fleet for the 15 days.”
The DTC said there were no immediate plans for change in the registration venue. “Registration till December 20 will go on at Millennium Depot,” said R Minhas, public relations officer, DTC.
But worried with the response on the opening day, the DTC decided to contact all STA carriage owners and other private bus owners. “All 43 depot managers have been directed to personally contact the STA owners, and other drivers and owners so that they can come forward and register,” said Minhas.
Another needling issue has also cropped up, said a DTC source. “Schools appear reluctant to offer their buses for public use under the scheme, fearing maintenance will take a hit,” added the source.