Authorities have attributed the delay in putting more buses into the city’s public transport fleet to lack of availability of vehicles adhering to specifications formulated by the Union Urban Development Ministry.
Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna said an order for 100 mini-buses, which were to be procured by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) as feeder buses, was placed a year ago, but no supplier has come forward because of the required specifications.
“We have scaled down the requirements. We will purchase 100 buses. Even then, there is a waiting period of six months,” he said.
He said the Urban Development Ministry specifications were required to ensure quality and safety. The manufacturing companies should adhere to the norms and “ensure availability of good buses”.
“Automobile-makers churn out new models of cars every now and then, they should also focus on buses,” Krishna said.
The ministry claimed that it was willing to pay, but JNNURM-standard buses were not available.
It is going to unveil a manual on Thursday, spelling out the specifications for buses. “There were complaints of lack of proper ventilation in DTC buses. The specifications say the new buses will have fans at the rear,” a ministry official said.
In order to improve the quality of bus transport, the ministry has floated two helpline numbers, senior officials said.
“The two phone numbers (155220 and 155221) will serve as helplines across the country for information related to bus travel,” the official said.
Commuters can call to know the location and schedule of bus transport services.
The ministry said it was acting on the CAG report on the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme. It has asked the states to complete unfinished projects by March 2014.
“The CAG report states that there was delay in completion of projects. We are pursuing this matter with the states so that all projects can be completed by March 2014,” Krishna said.