New Delhi, Oct 22 (PTI) The Delhi government Monday issued letters of acceptance to two vendors for procurement of 500 standard-floor buses fitted with hydraulic lifts to facilitate accessibility to differently-abled persons.

The Delhi High Court Monday allowed the government to procure 500 standard-floor buses for the national capital.

“The letters of acceptance have been issued to the vendors for procurement of 500 buses,” said Varsha Joshi, principal secretary (transport).

Delhi Transport minister Kailash Gahlot welcomed the court order hoping it will help in augmenting the bus fleet at the earliest.

“I welcome the Verdict of Hon’ble Delhi High Court allowing Delhi Govt to procure Standard Floor Buses. We now hope to augment the fleet of buses at the earliest to strengthen public transport,” Gahlot tweeted.

Earlier this month, the government had issued letters of acceptance to vendors for procurement of 500 standard-floor buses equipped with hydraulic lifts for the differently-abled after the Delhi High Court nod.

The Delhi Cabinet had given in-principle approval for procurement of 1,000 buses under the cluster scheme, but the procurement process was stuck up due to a case in the high court challenging it on the basis that standard-floor buses were not friendly to differently-abled people.

Joshi said the government has already committed to the procurement of low-floor buses in future.

“So grateful to the Honble Court for letting us finally bring 1,000 buses to Delhi roads, with hydraulic lifts for wheelchair bound passengers. The Govt has already committed to procurement of only low floor buses in future. We can now keep our environmental commitments to our city,” she tweeted.

With the arrival of new 500 buses, the size of cluster fleet will be over 21,500 as currently 1,600 buses ply under the scheme.

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) also runs around 3,700 low-floor buses.

Independent estimates put the number of public transport buses needed in the city to around 11,000 and the government is endeavouring to meet the gap through faster procurement, transport officials said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.