The Delhi government Tuesday told the Supreme Court that the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS), appointed as a consultant for procurement of 1,000 low-floor electric buses here, has sought four months time to come out with a plan on it.
A bench, comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, was informed about this by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand, who was representing the Delhi government.
Advocate Aparajita Singh, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, told the bench that since the DIMTS has sought for four months time to come out with their proposal, the court should dispose of the matter.
When the ASG said the matter should be deferred for four months, the bench observed, "After four months, if you do not do this, you will have to pay the cost. So, it is better that let it be disposed of."
The ASG agreed to the suggestion following which the bench disposed of the matter and gave liberty to the Delhi government to approach the court after the plan is finalised.
The Delhi government had earlier told the apex court that an "in-principle approval" has been given by the council of ministers for procurement of 1,000 low-floor electric buses, which are expected to arrive from June-July next year onwards, to augment public transport here.
It had said that Delhi is facing an acute shortage of public transport as only 5,554 buses, against the required number of 11,000 vehicles, are plying in the national capital.
The Delhi government had said they were also considering the possibility of using hydrogen-powered fuel cell buses, which are of hybrid nature and considered cost-effective as compared to compressed natural gas (CNG) or electric vehicles.
It had said that the DIMTS was appointed as a consultant for procurement of electric buses and time frame for setting up of charging stations for these vehicles would be about nine to 11 months from the date of award of contract for this.
The issue had cropped up when the court was hearing a matter related to air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region.
Earlier, the court had asked the Delhi government to apprise it about the nature and quality of electric buses and to ponder over the possibility of using hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses.