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Fresh attempt to get 300 e-buses to bolster DTC fleet

The DTC, which has not procured a single bus since the Commonwealth Games, presently has a fleet of 3,762 buses, while there are 2,839 orange cluster buses which are privately owned but operated by the Delhi government.

Written by Sourav Roy Barman | New Delhi | December 10, 2020 4:25:07 am
Fresh attempt to get 300 e-buses to bolster DTC fleetCurrently, Delhi has a fleet of 3,762 buses. (Archive)

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has taken another shot at inducting electric buses in its fleet. This comes days after it scrapped a tender floated in June to select private players to procure 300 e-buses under the Centre’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India (FAME II) Scheme.

Senior officials of the corporation said a fresh tender for procurement of 300 e-buses was floated on December 3, with a number of modified clauses so the latest attempt does not meet the same fate as the previous one.

Since the entire project is designed along the operating expenses model (OPEX), private bus operators selected through tendering will procure, operate and maintain the buses for 10 years. Under the conditions stipulated in the previous tender, the selected operator was expected to bear the electricity cost of charging the buses, which consume around 1.2 units per kilometer. The power cost per unit is fixed at Rs 4 per km.

“Now, a decision has been taken to exclude charges related to electricity expenses from the tender. The corporation will foot the power bills of running the buses. However, operators will have to maintain the buses in a way that they don’t consume more than 1.2 units per kilometre,” a senior official said.

Moreover, while the selected vendor was previously expected to furnish a performance guarantee of Rs 60 crore; it has now been reduced “substantially”, the official said.

“Also, vendors have been assured that annual fare revision will take place mandatorily even if the wholesale price index does not exceed 4 per cent annually. We have also assured that the route of the buses are being drawn up in a way that every bus runs at least 200 km per day. DTC will also bear the entry fee of these buses into terminals,” the official added.

In case of the previous tender, PMI Electro Mobility Solution Private Limited and Tata Motors had gone past the technical evaluation stage. “But during the price evaluation exercise, we realised the project will not be feasible,” transport department sources said.

On November 5, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had written to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal flagging the delay by the Delhi government in using the funds sanctioned under the FAME II scheme. He had requested the CM to ensure that supply order for the procurement of 300 e-buses for DTC be issued by December 31.

Currently, there are no electric buses in the city’s public transport fleet, which runs entirely on CNG. The DTC, which has not procured a single bus since the Commonwealth Games, presently has a fleet of 3,762 buses, while there are 2,839 orange cluster buses which are privately owned but operated by the Delhi government.

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