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Technical snag grips low-floor disabled-friendly buses

D.N.I.S. News Network – Barely two weeks into operation, the much-hyped high-capacity buses pressed into service by the Delhi Transport Department have run into trouble due to “technical reasons” with two them being taken off from regular service.

This comes as a bad news for disabled people in the National Capital who were upbeat over the promise that these buses held in terms of a dignified and barrier-free commuting, as they are equipped with several accessibility features like ramps, visual and auditory signals.

The two buses, out of five flagged off by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, that have been taken off, were plying on Route No. H-42. However, three buses running on Route No. 620 have had a smooth sailing so far. They have even been doing brisk business much to the delight of the cash strapped Delhi Transport Corporation (D.T.C.). The reasons for failure of these buses with a price tag of Rs. 37,00,000 each, as cited by media reports, lie with the poor state of roads, bus stands and general infrastructure.

This clearly points to the need for a general improvement in the National Capital’s transport infrastructure not only for greater convenience of disabled people but also for any upgradation to make Delhi's transport system world class.

It is amply clear that creation of a world-class infrastructure and accessibility need to go hand in hand. If the plans to get 200 more high-capacity buses introduced in the Delhi Transport Corporation fleet materialise, the roads and bus stands would need to be redone.

The D.T.C. has prepared a technical report of the problems being faced by these buses and submitted it to the Transport Department. D.T.C. Chairman A. Majumdar said that there were “minor” problems in the buses. “There are some minor technical snags but they have nothing to do with the safety of the buses.

There may have been some problems and deviations in the technical specifications made by the manufacturer but since these buses have been bought by the transport department, we can hardly do anything about it. However, we have outlined some detailed technical specifications for about 200 new low-floor buses that we will be ordering,” Majumdar was quoted as saying to a newspaper.