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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

HC rejects plan to bring back killer Blueline buses

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 05, 2013
First Published: 21:05 IST(5/9/2013) | Last Updated: 01:56 IST(6/9/2013)

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Delhi government not to go ahead with its plan to bring back the phased-out "killer" Blueline buses by giving them alternative routes in outer Delhi.

"This scheme has to go. It cannot be accepted in its present form. The government is free to frame a new scheme for their rehabilitation in consonance with the court's directions," a bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justice Pradeep Nandrajog said.

Blueline operators as well as the government had pleaded for permission for the buses to ply again, saying they had now agreed to be fitted with GPS, assured that they would control their speed and keep public safety in mind.

The court had said in the last hearing: "This is like bringing back these buses in a new avatar. There is no point. When you are killing people in the city, what is the guarantee you will be safer in outer and rural areas?"

The court endorsed the argument of Kailash Vasudev, who is the amicus curiae in the case (senior lawyer assisting the court on the issue) opposing the government's plan, saying the conduct of the Blueline drivers would be worse as there was "no proper policing in outer Delhi areas".

"I am opposing the rehabilitation plan. Were they not removed from the Capital, as they were indisciplined, rash and killed innocent pedestrians? What is the guarantee that they will not repeat the act in the alternative routes given to them?" Vasudev said.

The transport department worked out a policy in September last year to rehabilitate nearly 1,500 Blueline operators who had surrendered their permits a few years ago when the government had announced its plan to phase out the buses.

The transport department identified 97 new routes on which 1,532 new buses would be allowed to run.

These routes are different from the 657 routes on which DTC and private buses operate. The government plans to connect areas developed in the past 10 years such as Dwarka, Rohini, Jasola, Vasant Kunj, Narela and unauthorised colonies in outer Delhi and south Delhi.


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