NEW DELHI: The Delhi cab­i­net on Tues­day ap­proved a ten­der for pur­chase of 1,000 non-ac, stan­dard floor clus­ter buses to serve the city's out­ly­ing ar­eas, Deputy Chief Min­is­ter Man­ish Siso­dia said. The buses are ex­pected to start ar­riv­ing by Au­gust and all buses will be de­liv­ered by year-end, he added.

“The cab­i­net ap­proved the Trans­port Depart­ment's pro­posal for Re­quest for Qual­i­fi­ca­tion & Pro­posal & Draft Con­ces­sion Agree­ment for invit­ing bids for en­gage­ment of 1,000 clus­ter buses,” said Siso­dia. He said it was pro­posed to add 100 buses in Rewla Khan­pur De­pot, 250 buses in Dwarka Sec­tor 22, 120 buses in Kharkhari Na­har, 90 buses in Bawana Sec­tor 1, 160 buses in Rani Khera-i, 140 buses each in Rani Khera-ii & Rani Khera-iii.

“These buses will be the non-ac and stan­dard floor,” he said. It is es­ti­mated to have these buses on roads within a max­i­mum pe­riod of eight months, he added.

Siso­dia said DIMTS has been ap­pointed the con­sul­tant for the en­gage­ment of these 1,000 buses. The Delhi Trans­port, Min­is­ter Kailash Gahlot, urged the Lieu­tenant Gover­nor of Delhi to pro­vide spa­ces to keep more buses.

“We have re­peat­edly asked L-G to ar­range space for us to make bus ter­mi­nuses in the city which is nec­es­sary to keep more buses but he has been al­ways re­luc­tant to this,” al­leged Gahlot. The Min­is­ter said the govern­ment was ready to float ten­ders for more buses but there was no space to keep them and that's why the govern­ment will not do that till it did not re­ceive proper space to make bus shel­ters.

The DTC has a fleet of 3,944 buses while the DIMTS (Delhi In­te­grated Mul­ti­modal Tran­sit Sys­tem) runs 1,634 buses un­der the clus­ter scheme, as per the Trans­port depart­ment sta­tis­tics. The com­bined strength of around 5,600 buses cov­ers nearly 75 per cent of the iden­ti­fied routes in the city. A to­tal of 799 mini buses also ply on 124 routes, ac­cord­ing to the sta­tis­tics.

This de­ci­sion came in the time when re­port­edly the rid­er­ship of DTC has gone down dras­ti­cally. Re­cently, a study by the Cen­tre for Science and En­vi­ron­ment (CSE) showed that DTC'S daily av­er­age rid­er­ship de­clined by over 35 per cent be­tween 2012-13 and 2016. From 47 lakh in 2012-13, it dropped to 30 lakh by the end of 2016, the CSE re­port said. As per lat­est avail­able DTC sta­tis­tics, about 30 lakh pas­sen­gers are car­ried daily, of which a mere 14 lakh (45 per cent) are tick­eted. The rest (16 lakh) use passes, it noted. The DTC of­fi­cial noted that in 2012, DTC had nearly 6,200 buses.

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