Wednesday, 21 Aug, 2.02 am ANN News

After 6-year gap, Delhi gets 25 new cluster buses

It is the first batch of 1,000 such vehicles that are to be inducted by the end of 2019

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday flagged off 25 new cluster buses as part of the first lot of 1,000 such vehicles scheduled to be inducted by the government by the end of this year.Mr. Kejriwal said that the buses were part of a larger lot of 3,000 State-run ones scheduled to be inducted over the coming months. The Opposition BJP utilised the opportunity to "congratulate" Mr. Kejriwal for fulfilling "half per cent" of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's poll promise of procuring 5,000 new buses for the Capital's ailing public transport sector.

In a statement, the Delhi government said the new buses are equipped with hydraulic lifts for differently abled passengers, as well as panic buttons, CCTV cameras and GPS. This marks the "beginning of onground augmentation of public transport overcoming all difficulties", it added."Today is a day of happiness for Delhiites, since it marks the beginning of arrival of 3,000 new buses for Delhi. There were a lot of difficulties, but I am happy that all those hurdles have been overcome and finally the delivery of buses has started and the first lot has today hit the roads," the CM said.

According to the government, the existing fleet of buses being operated under the cluster scheme, is 1,679 and the induction of the remaining buses under it was delayed primarily due to the non-availability of bus depot space.The last tender under the cluster scheme, the government said, was released on January 7, 2011, with the contract for their induction being signed on June 20, 2013.The new buses are being procured after a gap of more than six years.

The Transport Department, according to the statement, has created depot space at Rewla Khanpur, Dwarka Sector-22, Kharkhari Nahar, Bawana Sector-1 and Rani Khera -I, II & III, from where these 1,000 new buses will be operated and will cater to rural areas.More buses in SeptemberAccording to the government, 125 more buses are scheduled to be inducted in September, 170 in October, 175 in November, 185 in December and 320 in January, 2020. In addition to the buses inducted on Tuesday and those scheduled to be inducted till January next year, the statement added, 1,000 low-floor AC buses are also being inducted under the cluster scheme."The contract of 650 low-floor buses has already been awarded by the Transport Department for three clusters and these buses will start coming from January 2020," the statement added.

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