Tuesday, October 23, 2012

New 1100 DTC Buses being bought by Dehi Govt will be inaccessible!

Dear Colleagues, 

The Delhi Cabinet has cleared purchase of 1100 high floor buses (I do not call them standard floor buses since modern Low Floor is the standard for the persons with disabilities!)

"Currently, DTC has 5,667 buses, out of which 3,781 are modern low-floor buses, purchased over the last five years. “The remaining 1,886 buses are obsolete,” said a senior Delhi government official. 

We were waiting these buses to go away from the Delhi roads to be replaced by the standard low floor buses so that the entire fleet could boast off to be accessible and disabled friendly. However, this sudden decision of the Government of Delhi to replace the rickety old high floor buses with new high floor buses is not reason for us to be happy. These buses from day one are useless, obsolete, inaccessible and disabled unfriendly, hence not welcomed.

It would be prudent on the part of the Government of Delhi to consider replacing these old buses with low floor only so that we achieve an aim of inclusive and barrier free society that provides its services based on universal design of products and not on exclusive designs for various segments. I find no alternate to this given the fact that all our pedestrian infrastructure and the bus q shelters in Delhi are built keeping the low floor bus as the standard to allow easy access to all. 

The disability sector could have agreed to even high floor buses provided the corresponding street infrastructure especially the boarding and de-boarding points are made in tune with the high floor and that the bus allows easy access to the disabled. This may only happen in a dedicated BRT system where the height of new bus q shelters may be kept accordingly. However, this doesn't seem to be the planning of the Government. 

We are raising our voice against this decision. The Government must think of promoting inclusive cities to realize the mandate of UNCRPD and stop taking arbitrary decisions that exclude the disabled and the elderly from its urban and transport planning.

The city is already troubled with the high foot paths being built by the PWD after the maintenance of roads was taken away by the Delhi Government from the MCD over the later's inaction.

Below is the coverage from Indian Express:

New Delhi, Tue Oct 23 2012,

With the Delhi Cabinet clearing the way for the purchase of 1,100 standard-floor CNG buses, the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) will start the process of replacing obsolete vehicles in its fleet. The new buses will cost the Delhi government around Rs 330 crore and will be purchased through a global tender.

Following a meeting of the Delhi Cabinet on Monday, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the government was taking steps to improve public transport in the city. “There is an urgent need to replace 1,886 standard-floor buses, which have completed their prescribed life for economic run,” Dikshit said.

She said the plying of such buses was causing loss to DTC and affecting its image.

The buses will be purchased with maintenance for 7,50,000 km or 12 years of operations, whichever is later. “The buses will be purchased through a global tender. In the DTC fleet of 5,667 buses, 3,781 are low-floor variants while the remaining 1,886 are obsolete and hence not dependable,” Dikshit said.

She said the new non-AC buses would be purchased at the earliest.

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