Delhi: 100 standard-floor buses with CCTVs, panic buttons rolled out

CM Arvind Kejriwal with Deputy CM Manish Sisodia at Rajghat depot, Thursday. (Express photo: Amit Mehra)

Hundred new standard-floor cluster buses — fitted with hydraulic lifts for the differently abled, CCTVs, GPS and 14 panic buttons — joined the 5,000-odd bus fleet in the capital Thursday.

Flagging off the buses at the Rajghat depot Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said: “Delhi is being recognised all over the world for quality education and health... We are also trying to strengthen our transportation system. Around 3,000 buses will hit the roads in the next six-seven months, out of which 1,000 will be electric buses — the biggest such deployment.”

He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot.

Of the 1,000 standard-floor buses that are to be procured by the Delhi government, 129 hit the streets last month.

Explaining the new features, officials said the hydraulic lift opens out from the side of the bus and is capable of lifting people on wheelchairs. Seven panic buttons on each side and CCTVs are for safety purposes, especially of women and children. Live-feed from the cameras is displayed on a monitor on the driver’s dashboard and in the control room. Each bus has 37 seats.

Balwinder Singh, one of the directors of Uniworld Transerve Pvt Ltd, with whom the government signed a PPA for the 1,000 buses, said: “The target is to get all buses by December-end or January first week.”

On the safety measures, he said, “The CCTVs display live-feed and the back-up period is for 15 days. If anyone presses the panic button, the signal goes to the control room and the nearest police station, the network for which we have set up with a company.”

Kapil Gupta (34), one of the newly recruited bus drivers, said, “There is a live camera feed that I can see at all times through the monitor right next to me.”

On the delivery of services by the AAP government, Kejriwal said, “Budgets have been sanctioned even by previous governments to maintain schools and hospitals, but only this government has worked on maintaining schools and hospitals with that budget. In the same way, this government will ensure timely maintenance of all features of the buses.”

The bid for the 3,000 buses — 1,000 each of standard-floor CNG, low-floor AC CNG and electric buses — has been opened, said the government in a statement.

Meanwhile, the CM said the proposal to revoke the odd-even scheme on November 11-12 for Guru Nanak Jayanti is being discussed: “We respect the sentiments of the Sikh community, and many Sikh organisations have requested relaxation of the odd-even drive on the two days... We will hold a meeting and take a decision.”