Bhopal: Bhopal City Link Limited (BCLL), which is operating low floor buses in the state capital, will replace the old buses from fleet. Old low floor buses which have completed 10 years plying on various routes will be retired in first phase. Then, old buses will be repaired and refurbished, if there is any scope.
There are nearly 225 low floor buses plying in the city. BCLL is operating an estimated 205 non-AC low-floor buses and 20 air-conditioned buses through a private operator.
Poor condition of the low floor buses not only poses inconvenience to commuters but also enhances chances of road accidents in traffic. These buses are run by Bhopal City Link Limited (BCLL), a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Unclean interiors, broken seats, broken windshields and windows are common; tobacco stains can be seen everywhere and the vehicles do not have proper instructions or first aid boxes. Manohar Kushwah, a bus driver, also expressed unhappiness and wished there should be proper facility in the buses. “There should be proper seats for us, fire safety arrangements and other facilities,” he said.
BCLL administration admitted there were 10 buses which had completed almost 10 years of their journey in Bhopal, and were going to be retired from fleet. But old buses which were better maintained and had lesser problems or were lesser than 10-year-old, would be repaired and refurbished.
Director (BCLL) Kewal Mishra said, “There are 225 buses on road in Bhopal. Those buses which are in operation for the last 10 years are in naturally poor condition. So we are replacing them. Such buses are 10 in number and immediately they will be replaced. Those which are a little bit new will be repaired if they are in bad condition. We are closely monitoring the condition of buses. New tender was invited after complaints of frequent breakdowns in low-floor buses. The situation of the fleet was dire. Frequent breakdown of buses and delays in service are being reported. In last six months, the situation has improved. The new operator will refurbish the buses. We are targeting all existing buses to ply smoothly.”