New cluster of buses for ' pockets' in Delhi.
DELHIITES can look forward to a lot safer roads in the New Year with the new privately- owned buses under cluster system expected to roll out by January end.
The buses, which were unveiled on Monday, will be paid a fix amount for each kilometre. The new system is expected to end the Blueline rat race on crowded roads to pick up more passengers that used to kill hundreds of people every year.
Cluster I will have 231 buses and the first batch of 50 vehicles will hit the roads by January. These will mostly cater to areas in south Delhi. The new system is modelled on European metropolitan cities like London and Paris. The new set of private buses will complement the Delhi Transport Corporation ( DTC) buses, as there will be a fixed proportion of public and private buses on each route. The state transport department had segregated the national capital into 17 different clusters comprising of 650 bus routes. The colour code for the first cluster of buses is light orange for non- AC and purple for AC buses. " Once the first batch of 50 buses are introduced in January, we will add the same number each successive month till all 231 buses ( on 32 routes) come out," Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said.
The new buses will be fitted with GPS devices, automated fare collection system, gas leakage detection alarm system, temperature metre and will adhere to Euro- IV pollution norms. The owner of the first cluster buses is Star bus service. The second cluster for 232 vehicles was awarded to Indraprastha Logistics Limited and the clusters 3- 5 were awarded to A. B. Grain Spirits Private Limited.
" With introduction of these private clusters we are changing the entire system where there are no incentives for speeding hence making the roads a lot safer and of international standards in quality," Lovely said. The government would pay a fixed amount of ` 27 per kilometre to the operator. " Each operator would be assigned a schedule. They will have to compliment the DTC and assist it on routes where there is additional passenger load," a senior transport department official said.
Each entity which was awarded the cluster in November this year had to deposit a security of ` 1 crore and was given a time span of six months to start the service or face forfeiture of security deposit. Interestingly, Indraprastha Logistics limited is a consortium of nine Blueline bus operators and their extended families.
A senior transport department said, " The cluster I buses are almost similar to the DTC low- floor buses with some minor changes in the specifications and design." In clusters 2 to 5, the approved buses will have a ground clearance equivalent to normal buses. The vehicles with higher ground clearance are relatively cheaper and easier to maintain.
Some of the key routes of the first cluster pass through the BRT and the nearby areas such as; 602 from Vasant Kunj to Red Fort, 415 from Jal Vihar to Anand Parbat, 440 from Ambedkar Nagar and routes 423/ 419 connecting Delhi railway station. In cluster two, the operator will run 232 buses, most of them on 37 routes in south east Delhi.
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