Some relief: Govt directs DTC to buy 500 midi buses

With the city bus service facing a shortage of buses, the AAP-led Delhi government has directed the DTC to add 500 midi buses to its fleet immediately.

Delhiites have been facing difficulties in commuting due to shortage of buses in the national capital.

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) currently operates around 4,700 regular buses and 1,500 cluster buses.

The DTC has already started analysing the cost of midi buses, or single-decker minibuses, and a decision on its procurement is expected to be taken in the next board meeting of the corporation.

“In view of a huge shortage of buses in the national capital, we have asked DTC to buy 500 midi buses so that people using bus service don’t have to face problem while commuting across the city,” a senior government official said.

The midi buses will be purchased in a phased manner, he said, adding, there are several routes, especially in rural areas, where commuters have to wait several hours for buses.

“DTC will buy 500 midi buses in the first phase, while more buses will be added to DTC’s fleet in the second phase.

If we compare the cost of midi buses to that of normal buses, the difference is not much. The number of seats is also almost same as smaller buses have 28-30 seats,” the official said, adding, they will be plied on routes facing shortage of buses.

At present, most DTC buses are either low-floor or semi-low floor buses supplied by Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland.

Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai had recently said that the his government was serious about tackling the problem of the shortage of buses.

Meanwhile, DTC has started the process of phasing out its entire fleet of standard-floor or ‘yellow’ buses, which it says are “beyond repair”.

Surprise inspection leads Minister to suspend 20 drivers
The Capital’s Transport Minister Gopal Rai has ordered the suspension of 20 DTC drivers after they were found to be absent from duty during a surprise inspection, a statement said on Sunday.
Rai inspected the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) depot at Rajghat and found that the regular drivers had not given any intimation to the authorities concerned of their absence from duty. 

The DTC has a total 12, 226 drivers on its rolls, of which 8, 039 are regular and 4,187 are on contract.

“They were found to have caused inconvenience to the public by denying them the right to travel in public transport,” a statement said.

The Rajghat depot has a fleet of 170 buses. At the time of inspection, the minister found that only 100 buses had left the depot while 57 of them were parked inside due to various reasons including non-availability of drivers.

According to the ministry, the DTC has a fleet of 4,705 buses and on an average 600 to 900 buses are not operated, particularly in the evening, due to lack of adequate operational staff, specifically drivers.
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