The NGT (National Green Tribunal) bench headed by Chairperson, Justice Swatanter Kumar has pulled up DTC over failing to conduct proper planning of bus occupancy, area wise requirements and design.
NGT has estimated that 70% of buses run empty most of the time, that too with air-condition on. The tribunal found that DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) was running air conditioning in the buses plying without passengers for at least five hour in the day. NGT noted that in the afternoons most AC buses which have capacities of 60 persons are practically empty while after 9.30 pm buses on the airport route have only 2-3 passengers which is a waste of government revenue.
NGT also pulled up DTC over parking issues directing all municipal corporations to ensure that regulated parking spaces were allocated on single lane basis.Ashok Leyland’s first zero emission, electric bus – Optare Versa EV – in India. Such buses could be the answer to the problem.
Apart from this, designs of buses are not as per requirements which could otherwise have gone a long way in the prevention of accidents. Noting improper maintenance of vehicles, NGT also served notices to both Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland which supplied buses to DTC.
These vehicles cause traffic snarls and add to environmental pollution. NGT was in favor of DTC employing smaller sized or mini buses during lean traffic periods and alteration of routes when demand is low. The council representing DTC stated that a trip cost around the ring road amounted to INR 60 taking into account cost of CNG, driver and conductor charges and maintenance of buses.
Following these observations, the NGT has asked DTC senior official to be present on next date of hearing to assess bus routes and review costs of running buses. The NGT also wanted explanations on buses tested for noise, maintenance of buses which have been noted with overhanging bumpers and loose rubber strips while physical inspection of buses should be conducted in a timely manner.