New Delhi: Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Tuesday, flagged off the first batch of 25 new buses out of the 1,000 standard floor ones to be procured in a phased manner by the Delhi government.
The chief minister said that no new buses were added to the public transport in the last seven-eight years.
The 25 new buses are equipped with hydraulic lifts for differently-abled commuters besides being fitted with CCTV cameras, GPS, and panic buttons.
In September, the second batch of 125 standard floor buses under the cluster scheme will be rolled out, Mr Kejriwal said. The entire fleet of 1,000 standard floor buses will be delivered by January next year.
“Today is a day of happiness for Delhiites since it marks the beginning of the 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 the buses has started. The first lot has hit the roads on Tuesday,” said the chief minister.
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said that it is a day of personal satisfaction for him since he has fulfilled the commitment he had given to the chief minister about two years ago.
“Who had ever thought that there would be petitions filed against increasing the bus fleet for improving the public transport of Delhi? We had to fight at the Supreme Court, but we are happy that finally the buses are here,” he said.
The new buses are also equipped with CCTV cameras, GPS, panic buttons, and rear surveillance cameras.
Currently, there are around 5,500 public transport buses including around 3,900 run by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and over 1,600 buses under the DIMTS’s cluster scheme.
The last buses were added to the cluster scheme in 2011 while DTC fleet added new buses in 2008, the official said.
The Delhi government plans to induct a total of 4,000 new buses including 1,000 e-buses by mid 2020.
Mr Gahlot had earlier said that the entire fleet of 1,000 standard floor buses under the cluster scheme will be rolled out on the city roads by December this year.
The process for the procurement of 1,000 low floor buses, each for DTC and DIMTS, is also underway.