New Delhi: Delhi government`s preparations for the Commonwealth Games have not only been a story of missed deadlines, dug-up roads, unfinished projects or rubble strewn all over but also of some projects silently shelved.
The government has silently dropped many a project, which were earlier dubbed as "very important" from the list of the projects to be launched before the mega sporting event beginning October 3.
Last November, the government had announced that an efficient private bus service, to be run by a corporate entity on the pattern of those operated in cities like Paris and London, would be launched much before commencement of the Games.
But with just a month left for the Games, officials in the transport department now said the "ambitious project" will not take off at all ahead of the event.
The cluster bus service was conceived as part of plan to improve the public transportation system in the city. In fact, in November, the government had awarded a contract to Star Bus Services Pvt Ltd, a private entity, under which the company was to run 40 low floor luxury buses, having modern gadgets including GPS facility, on 32 routes in South Delhi. As per the agreement, the Star Bus Ltd had agreed to
increase the fleet to 250 later.
The contract was awarded to Star Bus Services Pvt Ltd after it emerged as the successful bidder in the tender process.
As per the plan finalised by the Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transit System (DIMTS), the transport department will finalise the bus fares, which will go to the government, while the private operator will be paid a fixed amount on the basis of every kilometre travelled.
But almost after 11 months, the project failed to take off.
Another example of government`s promise falling flat is phasing out of `killer` blueline buses from the city ahead of the event. Officials now admit that it would not be possible to completely phase out the blueline fleet.
The government had set many a deadline in the last few years to phase out the privately-owned blueline buses and replace them with swanky low-floor buses ahead of the mega sporting event.
"It will not be possible to phase out the blueline buses completely before the Games," said a senior Transport Department official.
The official said the phase-out could not be completed as manufacturers of low-floor buses -- Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland -- expressed their inability to supply the number of vehicles required to replace the entire blueline feet.
The Government had placed an order of 3,125 low-floor buses to these two auto giants and out of the total order, 2,214 vehicles, including 1,250 air-conditioned buses, have already been supplied.