NEW DELHI: State Transport Minister, Kailash Gahlot, has issued a directive to the transport commissioner, instructing him not to put the newly inducted electric buses into operation from July 10 if their technical defects are not rectified by Sunday. This decision comes in response to the increasing number of breakdowns experienced by the electric buses, which were recently added to the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) fleet on June 30.
Expressing concern over the situation, Gahlot referred to a media report stating that one in three e-buses has been experiencing daily breakdowns. He emphasised that it is alarming to witness buses, which are less than a week old, continuously encountering such issues.
In his communication to Transport Commissioner Ashish Kundra, Gahlot highlighted that Delhi had recently commenced the operation of 100 new electric buses supplied by Tata Motors. The directive specifically instructs close monitoring of the electric buses’ operation and urges Tata Motors to rectify any defects within the week. If the technical issues persist, the Transport Department has been directed to prevent the buses from being put into service starting from Monday, July 10, 2023.
Following the minister’s directive, Transport Commissioner Kundra wrote to Girish Wagh, the Managing Director of Tata Motors, drawing attention to the “dismal operational outcomes” of the 200 electric buses that were initially inducted under the Grand Challenge Programme by the Delhi Transport Corporation.
The letter highlighted that the operating company had displayed limited preparedness for installing transformers in the assigned Depots, despite their insistence on early induction of the buses. Once the induction began, it became evident that a high percentage of breakdowns, up to 30%, were occurring due to technical and software glitches in the buses.
The communication to Wagh underscored that Tata Motors, known for its reputable global standing, had been entrusted with the contract for 1,500 electric buses with great hope and confidence. However, the current situation was seen as a letdown, especially considering the crucial role of public transport in any city, particularly the capital.
The letter warned that if the problem is not resolved by Sunday, the buses will be halted from operating, and penalties as per the contract will be imposed. Gahlot took to Twitter to affirm the government’s commitment to providing safe, convenient, and reliable public transport to the people.