New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has directed the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) to add 500 midi buses to its fleet as soon as possible to tide over the twin issues of lack of last-mile connectivity and a shortfall in the public transporter’s resources.
The DTC, which currently operates around 4,700 regular buses and 1,500 cluster buses, has been in the process of expanding his fleet for close to five years but has been unable to do so due to a slew of reasons, the most significant among which is paucity of finances.
“In view of a huge shortage of buses in the National Capital, we have asked the DTC to buy 500 midi buses so that people using its services do not have to face problems while commuting across the city any longer,” said a senior Government official.
A senior DTC official said the Corporation had already begun the process of analysing the cost of such vehicles — single-decker mini buses which are a little bigger and have better load-carrying capacity than minibuses — with the decision regarding their procurement expected to be taken at its next board meeting.
These, the official said, would be procured in a phased manner like all its buses, and first be pressed into service at semi-urban and rural areas that constitute the fringes of the Capital. At present, most DTC buses are either low-floor or semi-low floor buses supplied by Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland.
“The DTC will buy 500 midi buses in the first phase, while more buses will be added to DTC’s fleet in the second phase. If we compare the cost of midi buses to that of normal buses, the difference is not much. The number of seats is also almost same as smaller buses have 28-30 seats,” the official said, adding that these would also come in handy on routes facing general shortage of buses.
Transport Minister Gopal Rai had recently said that the Government was serious about tackling the problem of the shortage of buses. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had reiterated Rai’s statement while meeting farmers at a rally in Mundka held in early April and promised the gathering better connectivity.
Meanwhile, the DTC has started the process of phasing out its entire fleet of standard-floor or ‘yellow’ buses, which it says are beyond repair.
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