DELHI:EROS TIMES: The Transport Department had sought the cabinet approval to engage 1,000 low floor height CNG propelled air-conditioned buses in accordance with the Cabinet Decision No. 2579 dated 18.05.2018, vied which Council of Ministers had directed the Transport Department, to initiate the process for procurement of additional low floor buses.
Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) may be appointed as Bid Process Manager and Integrated Mechanism (IM) for these proposed clusters as well, on nomination basis.
DIMTS was assigned with a study on Route Rationalization. Hence, some of the 657 approved routes are likely to be amended/changed. Hence, the Transport Department may be allowed to make suitable modifications in the existing routes of clusters, as per the requirements of the bus passengers.
The Council of Ministers, vied Cabinet Decision No. 2483, Dated 20.06.2017 has decided to install the CCTV Cameras in the existing buses for which Consultant has been appointed and the specifications for CCTV and Automated Vehicles Tracking System (AVTS) have been finalized. The prospective bidder will bring the buses with CCTV and AVTS as OEM, as per the specification finalized by the Transport Department.
According to the DTC, the main reason for failures of past tenders was procurement of buses with Annual Maintenance Contract(AMC) from the Vehicle Manufactures(VMs) for the entire life span of the vehicle(7,50,000 kms or 12 years operation whichever is later).
At present, the VMs are executing AMC of 3775 low-floor CNG buses of DTC. Owing to suboptimal maintenance of buses, heavy deductions are being made by DTC on their AMC bills in accordance to the contract terms.
According to VMs, the terms and conditions of the AMC are not rational and congenial for them to participate in the bidding of new buses. Needless to say, at the time of last tender, the terms and conditions of the AMC were suitably rationalized by DTC. It appears, VMs are more interested in selling buses rather than maintaining them by their own throughout the operating life span of the vehicle.
CNG fuel is mandatory for public transport in Delhi and as such buses are customized mainly for Delhi and their use in rest of the country is not mandatory. Till the year 2006, the buses were maintained by the DTC itself through their own Repair and Maintenance wing (R & M).
The Delhi Government has to augment city bus fleet of stage carriages upto the number of 11,000 buses in accordance with the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and Honorable Delhi High Court.
Both the Honorable Courts are regularly monitoring the augmentation of the bus fleet in accordance with its directions. As on date, the overall fleet of DTC and Cluster buses stands at 5460.
Initially, Honorable Supreme Court vied its order of 02.08.2018 allowed 500 standard floor height buses under the existing tender of cluster buses subject to installation of mechanical lift to enable boarding of wheelchair bound passengers.
Subsequently, the Honorable Delhi High Court disposed off the petition titled Nipun Malhotra versus Government of NCT of Delhi & Anr. (WP Civil No. 9643/2017) vide its order of 22.10.2018 and allowed Transport Department to engage 1000 standard floor height buses for which the tender was finalized by the department.
However, the order of Honorable Supreme Court and Honorable Delhi High Court implies that these 1000 standard floor height buses shall be fitted with mechanical lift to enable boarding of wheelchair bound passenger. Accordingly, Transport Department initially issued Letter of Acceptance (LoAs) to the L-1 bidders of Cluster Nos. 13 & 14 (part) on 05.10.2018 and later to L-1 bidders of Cluster Nos. 16A & 16B on 22.10.2018.
STEPS FOR IMPLEMENTATION
The Delhi Cabinet, therefore granted administrative approval for the engagement of 1,000 low floor height CNG propelled air-conditioned buses under Gross Cost Model of contracting through private entities under the Cluster Scheme of Delhi Government, through global tendering process, on the basis of the best financial offers under the remaining clusters.
The Department will specify the clusters and its associated routes for the 1000 low floor AC buses in the RFP document so as to have informed bidding process by the prospective bidders. The Honorable Minister(Transport) will be the competent authority for RFP approval of this project.
After receipt of financial bids, Transport Department will seed expenditure sanction for these 1000 low floor AC buses from the Council of Ministers for the entire concession period before signing the Concession Agreements with the L-1 bidders.
The unutilized bus depots of DTC shall be utilized by the Transport Department for housing of these 1000 low floor AC buses for which Transport Department will take final decision in consultation with DTC.
Nomination of DIMTS as the Bid process Manager and as the Integrated Mechanism (IM) for the management and operation of these buses.
Transport Department will be allowed to make modifications in the routes of the remaining clusters, as per requirement of city and rural areas.
Transport Department to ask the prospective bidders to bring the buses with CCTV and AVTS as OEM, as per the specification finalized by the Transport Department.