Delhi Govt files affidavit in SC on having hydraulic lifts in buses

New Delhi: A day after Delhi Government told Supreme Court of India that it would work out a way by which hydraulic lifts can be installed for disabled persons in the standard floor buses that it is procuring, the Deputy Commissioner of Delhi’s Transport Department filed its affidavit before the Apex Court.

The Delhi government said that the issue of wheelchair friendly/accessible buses was discussed in a meeting with state Transport Minister on June 19, 2018 and one of the immediate actions that was decided was to call the identified bidders to discuss the possibility of installing mechanized lifts in the buses without affecting their tender cost.

The Delhi government added that following the meeting, it was decided to have mechanical lifts fitted in all buses it is planning to buy for the Cluster Scheme.

“The mechanical lists will be installed by the Vehicle Manufacturers as Original Equipments Manufacturers (OEM),” the affidavit said. It added that the cost of this additional fitment, which had no mentioned in the original tender, will be borne by Delhi Government. It is estimated to cost roughly Rs 5 lakh for each bus for these hydraulic lifts.

The Delhi government said that it has taken the decision in order to avoid further delay in acquisition of buses for public transport as fresh tender may delay the entire process by a year.

“The decision has been taken by the government considering the dire need to augment the existing bus fleet, particularly on the rural routes identified for the purpose and the urgency of doing so in larger public interest and also specifically the need for disabled friendly public transport. This decision will address the issue of accessible public buses to passengers with locomotor disability,” the affidavit said.

The Delhi government is in the process of procuring 1,000 Standard Floor buses under the Cluster Scheme. However, a petition was filed contesting the procurement saying Standard Floor buses are no longer popular in the world and that the Delhi government had purchased roughly 3,000 low floor buses during the Commonwealth Games in 2010.(ANI)