Delhi is facing an acute shortage of public transport as only 5,554 buses against the required number of 11,000 vehicles are plying in the national capital, the Supreme Court was informed today.
In an affidavit filed before the apex court, the Delhi government has said its "all-out efforts" to augment a bus fleet to meet the requirement of 11,000 buses was hindered due to non-availability of land for depots and repeated failure of tenders issued by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) for procurement of vehicles.
It said as per the directions of the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court, the total requirement of bus fleet in the city was 11,000, but presently only 5,554 CNG-run buses were being operated.
The Delhi government has said that there were 1,275 low floor AC buses, 2,506 low floor non-AC buses and 101 Green standard floor non-AC buses.
Besides these, 1,672 orange colour standard low floor buses were being operated under the cluster scheme, which was introduced in 2011 to replace the erstwhile blue line buses, it said.
"The present fleet of buses in Delhi is 5,554 and the requirement is of 11,000 buses. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) is making all-out efforts to augment the bus fleet to meet this requirement, but is hindered in its efforts due to non-availability of depot land to bring cluster buses and repeated failure of tenders issued by the DTC for procurement of buses," the affidavit said.
It said that the Delhi cabinet had taken a decision on September 1 last year for inducting 2,000 standard floor buses through procurement of 1,000 buses by the DTC and engagement of 1,000 vehicles under the cluster scheme.
It said that the high court had on June 1 this year stayed the implementation of this decision, which was at an advanced stage, and if the stay was vacated, 2,000 standard floor buses would be ready for induction.
"Thus, GNCTD introduced a new scheme whereby through a tender process concessionaries for nine clusters were selected through bidding process to run these orange buses. As a social responsibility, GNCTD is funding the viability gap between the total operating cost and and fare box collection for operation of buses under the cluster scheme," it said.
The city government said a cabinet decision was taken on May 18 this year to procure additional 2,000 low floor buses which were likely to be procured by May 2020 and the DTC board has also decided to procure 500 low floor CNG buses.
It said the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had allotted 19 acres of land at Rohini phase five and five acres of land at Dwarka Sector 22 for bus depots and two parcles of land in Bawana Industrial area were also purchased from the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIIDC).
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It said the millennium depot, where 1,200 buses could be parked, was made but in a litigation, the Supreme Court had directed that the depot cannot be used any more for parking till the DDA changed the land use.
The Delhi government has said that DDA has given its consent for the same, but the matter was pending before the National Green Tribunal.
"It is assured that if the millennium bus depot complex and aforesaid two parcels of land are made available by the DDA along with additional 15 acres of land, the GNCTD would be in a position to meet the depot space requirement for the fleet of 11,000 buses in Delhi," the affidavit said.
It further said that DDA had allotted two parcels of land of 10 acres each at Vasant Kunj and Rohini Sector 32, but despite paying the entire amount to the authority, the land was not handed over to the AAP government as they were in litigation.
The issue had cropped up when the court was hearing a matter which had raised the issue of air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region.