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200 high-capacity buses to hit Delhi roads in next six months

D.N.I.S. News Network Delhi Transport Corporation has given the green signal for specially designed low-floor buses to ply in Delhi. Though work is yet to begin on the dedicated corridors for the High Capacity Bus System (H.C.B.S.), 200 buses will hit the existing roads in the next six months.

Six low-floor buses have already been operating in the city since November 2005. But due to the need for wide and levelled roads for their operation, these buses have been restricted to only Route No. 620 stretching from Shivaji Stadium to Hauz Khas bus terminal.

The H.C.B.S. was envisaged as a system where specially-designed buses could run at high speed along five specially-built corridors as the existing roads are not compatible.

R.I.T.E.S., the project consultant is reported to have said that tenders had not been awarded even for the first corridor, despite the fact that the Supreme Court, in its ruling in March 2006, had given the Delhi Government eight weeks to complete the tender process.

The H.C.B.S. has a long history starting 2002 when the five corridors were first identified. Plans were to be drawn up in 6-9 months and implemented in a year. Tenders were invited in October 2004. In December the same year, the Planning Commission allotted Rs. 122 crore. After this the project almost came to a standstill, and in May 2005 the Transport Department moved fresh tenders with the realisation that the cost had overshot the estimates. Finally, in November 2005 six high-capacity buses started plying on two routes, but were shifted to only Route No. 620 a month later.

One hopes that this time round the disabled friendly buses will finally be on the roads as planned.