The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) board has cleared a proposal to procure 1,000 low-floor CNG buses — 500 air-conditioned and 500 non-AC — to revive its fast depleting fleet, which saw a reduction of nearly 50 buses between 2017 and 2018.
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot told The Indian Express that while the buses will be purchased by the DTC, the annual maintenance clause (AMC) will be outsourced, as tenders have failed in the past over this clause.
Gahlot, who was made chairman of the DTC in June last year, said vehicle manufacturers are usually unwilling to bear the AMC cost. The last DTC tender, for procurement of 1,000 standard-floor buses, had failed in May 2018 as only one bidder turned up to sell buses to the Corporation.
“The DTC board cleared the proposal to buy 1,000 new low-floor CNG buses in its meeting on March 5. We will get 500 air-conditioned and 500 non-AC buses. The AMC clause will be outsourced to a third party due to the reluctance of the manufacturers on this front. There will be a separate tender for AMC,” Gahlot said.
He said a procurement proposal in this regard will now be brought to the Cabinet. The government, in its annual Budget, has made allocation for the proposal.
Apart from the fresh DTC approval, the government is getting around 3,000 vehicles through the cluster system, including 1,000 hydraulic-lift equipped standard-floor buses, 1,000 low-floor buses and 1,000 electric buses. The DTC, which currently operates around 3,892 buses, had last procured new buses in 2008. Its daily average ridership fell from 31.03 lakh in 2017-18 to 29.91 lakh in 2018-19, as per official records.
Meanwhile, the government opened four fully automated driving test centres at Mayur Vihar, Vishwas Nagar, Sarai Kale Khan and Shakur Basti on Wednesday. “The centres are equipped with advanced technology, including multiple high definition cameras to evaluate applicants against 20 essential driving skills — in line with the Central Motor Vehicles Rules. They will be the most advanced driving test centres in the country,” an official statement said.