Private bus operators have refused to add more vehicles until the existing ones are set right. To top it all, about 1300 buses are planning to exit the current fleet of 6000 buses.
Private operators say that the cluster scheme are not in the right place. Under this schemes, the private operators have been assigned routes where they can run and have been given orange colour. According to sources, these buses are incurring a loss of 3-4 crores each year. They have written to the government to resolve their issues otherwise they will be forced to stop the buses.
One of the operators said,"The cluster scheme has been executed badly and government needs to review it before planning to include more buses. The government has no space to park the buses they have so they first get parking space and build depots. Buying more buses is not the only solution."
As per the contract with the government, the operators can withdraw buses if they are not able to run it. This will be a big blow to the transportation system, if this happens. The transportation system in Delhi has already encountered a hit as 25% of the buses have already gone down as old buses have phased out.
Operators allege that the government has failed to keep its promise of reviewing the terms and conditions of the contract even after two years. "Incorrect interpretation of contract clauses has made the contract unfeasible. The government deduct fine even in case of exceptional circumstances such as rain. We cannot complete trips if there is traffic jam everywhere," the operators said.
Meanwhile, a Delhi government official said,"By July-August we plan to procure 1,000 buses. The government also plans to purchase 1,000 premium buses with facilities such as wifi and LCD screens and advance booking of seats by the passengers. If necessary, we will review the scheme and we will talk to operators why they are not ready to run the buses."