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Disappointed with the manufacturers of Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses, the Delhi government is now considering the introduction of buses from Poland, Sweden and China as replacements. The Transport department has asked manufacturers from the three countries to test their buses in Delhi conditions before inducting them into the fleet.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday told Newsline that the government was unhappy with Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. "It seems they cannot cope with the situation and conditions in Delhi, so we are exploring the possibility of more reliable and economic options from abroad," Dikshit said. She added that buses from China, Poland and Sweden offered better passenger satisfaction at far lesser costs.
A senior DTC official stated that a recent tender floated for buses returned only one bidder. "There are only a few companies in India that make quality buses and we are not satisfied. So we have approached companies in other countries and if satisfied with the performance, we will float another tender process," he said.
According to Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami, the government has begun testing a bus from a company based in Poland. "While no decision has been taken yet, we decided they must be tried out. If their performance is better and their rates more competitive, it is good for passengers and the government," Goswami said.
He added that the DTC needed to replace its older fleet of around 1,700 buses as soon as possible.
Following a meeting with Transport department officials, Goswami stated that they were also considering the introduction of four-wheeler auto rickshaws in the national capital. "The autos, made by Tata, are covered on all sides and are considered safe and secure. We believe they would also bring down road accidents," Goswami said. He added that the move would also decrease incidents of over-charging, not using meters, refusal to take passengers to their destinations.