Govt Clears Proposal To Buy 1,000 Non-AC Buses

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New Delhi: The Delhi government’s planning and finance department has cleared a proposal to purchase 1,000 non air-conditioned CNG buses at a cost of Rs 330 crore. It has also decided to hire another 1,000 buses through “private entities” for cluster services at an additional estimated expenditure of Rs 211 crore annually, officials said.

The last time the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) had procured buses was in the 2009-10 financial year — when it got 3,775 buses. In June this year, the government had scrapped the Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) from its tendering process for procurement of buses. Officials had called it an “obstacle” that has been keeping the DTC from buying buses for the last seven years.

The planning department also noted that “the main reason for failures… was the procurement of buses with AMC” from manufacturers “for the entire life span of the vehicle”.

Of the DTC’s existing fleet of 3,951, about 21 per cent buses are ‘over-aged’ — running for more than eight years — and will be withdrawn by next year. As per affidavits submitted by the DTC to court, Delhi needs 11,000 new buses.

While noting that the “cost of procurement of buses will be subject to actual cost of procurement through global tender”, the cost was proposed to be financed by the Delhi government as equity contribution.

Moreover, with funds only required in 2018-19, the planning department said, “Rs 1 crore has been kept in the plan scheme — Equity Capital to DTC — for the purchase of buses.” In the next financial year, the transport department and DTC will propose “appropriate budgetary provisions”.

The department added, “Repair and maintenance will be carried out by DTC through its in-house repair and maintenance staff”, by strengthening its “R&M wing with new recruitment, or engage a third party to maintain the buses through contractual agreement, or to hire contractual R&M personnel”.

The planning department also said that an expenditure of Rs 262.35 crore is being borne by the government for the existing cluster bus fleet and that an additional amount of Rs 211 is estimated with the induction of the 1,000 buses. “It is estimated than an additional viability gap funding of Rs 211 crore per year would be required with the induction of 1,000 buses,” the department said.

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