New Delhi, Nov 6 (UNI) In its bid to lessen the woes of physically-challenged commuters in the capital, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today flagged off the first lot of Delhi Transport Corporation's Low Floor eco-friendly CNG buses.
The lot included 12 buses out of which 10 rolled out on the capital roads and other two have been especially set aside for the training of drivers and other support staff.
Speaking on the occasion, Ms Dikshit said,'' This new fleet is a Delhi Government Diwali gift for city commuters. These buses are user-friendly and they would also allow the physically-challenged people to travel smoothly without facing any problems as they have ramps to allow them to get on and off the vehicles without any hassles.'' Underscoring the need for modernising and expanding the DTC bus fleet, she said:'' An efficient, reliable and comfortable bus system in Delhi will encourage citizens to opt for public transport in place of private cars and scooters. Shift of commuters to public transport is essential for not only reducing the environment and air pollution but also for easing traffic congestion and reducing accident rates.
She said the DTC fleet would be doubled to nearly 6000 buses by the end of March 2009, which will result in creation of 18,000 new jobs in the corporation for which I would suggest to the authorities concerned to reserve some seats for women.
''If women can go to space, why cannot they become drivers and conductors in the DTC?'' she wondered.
''Metro is not the only solution to the city's road traffic woes, even the idea of introducing a monorail was being toyed with, let's see how things turn out,'' she added.
She also announced a Diwali bonus for the DTC staff on the occasion and said they may be getting their cheques regarding that from tomorrow.
Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf, who was also present on the occasion, said,'' The step is keeping in line with the Delhi Government's commitment to make road travel of commuters a smooth affair and give a new face to the transport of Delhi...'' Meanwhile, DTC Chairman Anshu Prakash said:'' Initially, the buses will ply on route number 500 between Shivaji Stadium and Saket. The doors of the buses can only be opened and closed by their drivers and so it would reduce the risk of the people getting killed while getting on and off moving buses.'' ''These buses have in-built speed regulators so they cannot move at more than 40 km per hour speed which will certainly reduce the number of accidents on Delhi roads and, moreover, these regulators cannot be tampered with. The chassis of these buses is 390 mm high in comparison to 1100 mm of regular buses so boarding them and alighting from them will not be a problem for anyone,'' he informed.
He said the number of Low Floor CNG buses would touch the mark of 525 by July next year, which will have 25 air-conditioned buses.
These buses will have a seating capacity of 32. Anybody can travel in these buses but they will certainly prove manna from heaven for the physically-challenged, he added.