DMRC seeks HC permission to buy semi-low floor buses
New Delhi: DMRC on Thursday requested the Delhi High Court to permit it to get semi-low floor mini buses for last mile connectivity from metro stations, saying its fleet of feeder service vehicles are not in good condition. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) told a bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao that the state transport department was refusing to register such buses as they did not have low floors as ordered by the high court in 2007.
The court, thereafter, issued notice to Delhi government, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and petitioner Nipun Malhotra, who has filed a PIL opposing induction of semi-low floor buses for public transport on the ground that they were not disabled friendly, and sought their replies to DMRC's application.
The metro, represented by senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, told the bench that at present it operates a fleet of 174 mini buses of which 25 are standard floor and the rest semi-low floor. It said that when it floated tenders for procuring low floor electric and CNG mini buses, it found that no one manufactures low floor CNG mini buses, but the electric variant may be available. DMRC in its application has assured that it will procure the low floor electric buses, but the same will take time.
It said since it needed to augment its "depleting" fleet as soon as possible, to provide last mile connectivity to commuters, it be permitted to procure semi-low floor CNG mini buses and assured the court that ramps or electric lifts would be fitted to make the vehicles accessible to those who are on wheelchairs. Delhi government additional standing counsel Sanjoy Ghose told the court that concern raised by the metro appeared to be genuine. However, the lawyer for Malhotra said they have some objections to the plea and would like to place the same on record.