Delhi government Friday issued 'letters of acceptance' to vendors for procurement of 500 standard-floor CNG buses equipped with hydraulic lifts for the differently-abled, a senior official said.
The new, standard-floor buses will join the fleet of Cluster Scheme buses operated by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).
"Letters of acceptance awarded to successful bidders of two clusters for a total of 500 standard-floor CNG buses as per permission granted by Hon'ble Supreme Court. They shall be fitted with hydraulic lifts for disabled passengers. Long drought ending (sic)" Secretary (Transport) Varsha Joshi tweeted.
The buses are likely to hit the city roads in next six months, she told PTI.
"As per tender conditions 25 per cent in six months but we will ensure we get some much faster," she said.
The officer also said that the vendors will be paid for fitment of hydraulic lifts to the buses and modalities of it will be finalised for seeking approval of the Delhi cabinet for it.
Another officer of Transport department said that the new buses were planned to be operated between destinations in outer, rural pockets and the central part of the city.
Facing the crisis to meet the burgeoning public transportation needs in the city, Delhi government had originally planned to procure 1000 standard-floor buses but a plea was filed in the High Court in June that restrained it from doing so on the ground that such buses were not friendly to differently-abled people.
Later in August this year, the Supreme Court allowed the government to purchase 500 standard-floor buses to take care of "pressing needs" of commuters using public transport.
The government had assured the top court that hydraulic lifts would be installed in these buses for the benefit of differently-abled persons.
The Delhi government had told the court that it would fit hydraulic lifts in each bus for wheel-chair bound differently-abled persons, which would entail a total cost of around Rs 80-90 crores.
With the arrival of new 500 buses, the size of Cluster fleet will be over 2100 as currently 1600 buses ply under the scheme.
The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) also runs around 3700 low floor buses.
Independent estimates put the number of public transport buses needed in the city to around 11000.
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