After facing severe flak from the Delhi High Court and the residents for its failure to improve the city’s bus service, Delhi government, on February 17, announced that it would ply 100 new buses on the roads.
The Delhi transport department will now ply nearly 6,000 buses against the required number of 11,000. The department runs all these buses through the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), a state-owned company, and the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).
DIMTS, a private transport company, is accountable for preparing, planning, designing and implementing the traffic rules. It also plies non-AC buses, known as cluster buses. With the inclusion of the 100 new buses, the strength of cluster buses has reached around 2,000. The remaining (both AC and non-AC) are DTC buses.
The Delhi government had proposed to introduce 5,000 new buses, but so far, hardly 400 have been added in the past two years.
On February 14, the AAP government completed its two years in power. Addressing a press conference before flagging off the new buses outside the Delhi Secretariat building, transport minister Satyender Jain said, “There are about 6,000 buses, including DTC and cluster, but we need 11,000 buses to cater to all commuters in the capital.”
On being asked about the introduction of AC buses, he said, “About 450 AC buses and 250 non-AC cluster buses will be introduced on city roads this summer.”
The routes will cross several residential societies in different parts of the city.
When City Spidey spoke to the residents about the development, they seemed sceptical, saying that just adding 100 buses wouldn't improve services.
Manohar Khatri, general secretary of the Federation of CGHS, IP Extension, said, “It won’t do much to improve the situation — but yes, it will give the transport department a chance to tomtom its work in the past two years. We are lucky to have the Metro — things would have really gone south otherwise.”