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Coming soon: 1,650 low-floor AC buses

Coming soon: 1,650 low-floor AC buses

Cabinet Nod To Bidders For 650 Cluster-Scheme Vehicles...

New Delhi:

Paving the way for procurement of 650 low-floor air-conditioned buses under the cluster scheme, the Delhi cabinet on Thursday gave its approval to the companies that had successfully bid to operate these vehicles.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said that the work order will be awarded to the companies within 15 days and the buses will start rolling out from December. The transport department will soon issue the letter of intent to the successful bidders. “The cabinet decisions taken today are a major boost for public transport,” Sisodia added. The entire fleet of 1,000 buses will be on the roads by May 2020.

Officials said the transport department would be procuring 1,000 low-floor buses under the cluster schemes for which two different tenders for 650 and 350 buses would be floated separately. While the technical and financial bids for 650 buses were opened and approved last month, the tender for the remaining 350 has been called afresh and will be opened on July 19 to shortlist bidders on the basis of financial and technical capabilities.

Earlier, the bid for the fourth cluster of 350 buses had to be cancelled as just one company had submitted the tender documents.

Officials said these 650 buses will run in three clusters covering 84 routes across the city. While one cluster has 24 routes catering to north and northwest Delhi, the second 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 the first cluster, 190 in the second and 210 in the third. While the concessionaires will hire their own drivers, the conductors will be deployed by Delhi government. The transport department will pay the concessionaires between Rs 77.21 and Rs 83.71 per kilometre per bus depending on the cluster.

Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS), which is providing consultancy to the government on procurement and operation of these buses, will also be paid separately. The new buses will be equipped with GPS, CCTV cameras, digital display boards, public announcement system and panic buttons and their movement will be monitored by DIMTS.

This is the first time in nine years that Delhi will get low-floor air-conditioned buses. Though standardfloor non-AC buses had been added to the fleet of cluster buses, low-floor buses, which are considered friendly to the old and infirm, could not be bought. Currently, there are 1,280 AC buses in the Delhi Transport Corporation fleet.