New Delhi: Over 1,500 buses would soon be added to the ambitious cluster bus service being operated by private parties under PPP model in Delhi with the state government clearing a proposal to this effect.
A Cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, approved a proposal to launch the bus services under clusters six, seven, eight and nine.
In 2009, the Delhi government had divided nearly 650 bus routes across the city into 17 clusters - each comprising profitable and non-profitable routes and decided to give each cluster to a private operator. Four corporate entities were already given contract to operate the services in five clusters.
The government wanted to do away with competition and hence, it decided to provide one cluster to one corporate entity. At present around 270 buses are plying under the cluster bus service.
Officials said 279 buses would ply under cluster six, while a total of 358 buses would be added as part of cluster seven. Cluster eight will comprise 497 buses and cluster nine will have 418 buses.
The cluster bus service was envisaged to replace the `killer` Blueline fleet, which has been phased out from the capital. The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) currently operates around 5,775 buses, including 4,000 low-floor buses.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the new clusters are being launched to further augment the bus transport system.
All the buses under cluster services will have an on board passenger information system similar to that of Delhi Metro, GPS and electronic display board.
As per the decision of the Delhi Integrated Multi-modal Transit System Ltd (DIMTS), which conceived the new model of cluster service, the transport department will collect the bus fares while the private operator will be paid a fixed amount on the basis of every kilometre travelled.