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Step closer to new 650 low-floor AC buses as cabinet nod likely today

Step closer to new 650 low-floor AC buses as cabinet nod likely today

New Delhi:

The process of awarding the tender for 650 low-floor air-conditioned buses under the cluster scheme is likely to get Delhi cabinet’s approval on Wednesday.

“The tender for low-floor, air-conditioned buses to be inducted under the cluster scheme is at the final stage. All that is required now is the Delhi cabinet’s nod, which is expected on Wednesday,” a Delhi government official said. “The buses will be inducted in two phases. In the first phase, 650 buses will be inducted and 350 will come in the next phase. The bidding process for the 350 buses is already on,” the official said.

“The cabinet is also likely to approve the process of floating tenders for 1,000 buses to be brought by the Delhi Transport Corporation,” he said.

The official added that the new set of buses were likely to start arriving by November this year. The bids were opened a month ago on three different clusters of routes and the companies were shortlisted on the basis of their technical and financial capabilities and rates offered.

This is the first time in 10 years that the city’s bus fleet will get low floor air-conditioned buses. The Delhi government had last purchased such buses ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010 to strengthen DTC’s fleet. After that, the government has only introduced standard-floor buses under the cluster scheme. There are 1,280 low-floor AC buses in DTC’s fleet.

The 650 low-floor buses will be divided into three different clusters catering to routes spread across the city. While one cluster has 24 routes for north and northwest Delhi, the second cluster has 26 routes, largely spread in south and southeast Delhi. The third cluster has 34 routes, connecting east, northeast and west Delhi. There will be 250 buses in first cluster, 190 in second and 210 buses in the third.

The government had initially planned to bring in 1,000 low-floor buses by November 2019. However, the bid for the fourth cluster having 350 buses had to be cancelled as just one company submitted the tender for that. A fresh tender was floated by the transport department for this cluster and the bidding is on at present.

The new low-floor AC buses will have three CCTV cameras, a digital display board, a public announcement system and also a global positioning system.

As per the government’s own estimates, Delhi needs 11,000 buses while the actual number on roads is around 5,500. The government hopes to meet the shortfall partially by 2019.

 

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