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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Citing dwindling fleet, DTC asks schools and police to look for private buses

Of the 3,760 buses available with the DTC -- 656 are over 12 years old, 3,072 are between 10 and 12 and 32 are between 8 and 10.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi |
Updated: September 7, 2021 11:49:48 am
DTC buses at DTC Rohini depot III, in Delhi (Express photo by Ravi Kanojia/File)

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has written to schools and the Delhi Police to explore tie-ups with private contractors for buses instead of depending on the state-run public transporter. DTC managing director Vijay Kumar Bidhuri confirmed the development.

The corporation, which has 3,760 buses currently, is facing a crisis as attempts to augment its fleet in recent years have all been unsuccessful, resulting in a situation where all but 32 operational buses are more than 10 years old.

Around DTC 580 buses are engaged by schools while the police and paramilitary forces use about 300 buses to cater to their daily needs of transporting personnel across the city.

Of the 3,760 buses available with the DTC — 656 are over 12 years old, 3,072 are between 10 and 12 and 32 are between 8 and 10. Under ideal circumstances, a bus is marked as ‘overage’ in the city after its clocks over 7.5 lakh kilometers.

But in Delhi, the state transport authority allows buses to run an additional 1.2 lakh kilometres each subject to conditions, and in some cases up to 15 years. Most buses cover 7.5 lakh kilometres by the time they are 10 to 12 years old.

The corporation’s fleet is made up of buses of Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. It has managed to get Tata Motors to agree to run 1,000 out of 2,644 buses on an extended annual maintenance contract (AMC) till the end of September.

Now it has floated a tender to renew the AMC of all the 2,644 buses of Tata so that they can serve commuters for up to 15 years. However, the maintenance contracts are bleeding the cash-strapped public transporter. Data shows the maintenance cost of buses has risen from Rs 412 crore in 2010-11 to over Rs 800 crore in 2020-21.


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