The Delhi government’s special fitness check drive for Blueline buses came to an end on Sunday. Many Bluelines are yet to pass the test. This means commuters, who already have to travel in congested buses during peak hours, would now have to do without at least 400 buses.
The actual number of Bluelines on Delhi’s roads is 3,838 and according to Transport Commissioner R. Chandramohan, about 3,400 buses have secured the red fitness stickers. The drive, earlier planned to be conducted over a weekend, started on July 21, but was later extended. The drive was first carried out at the Transport Department’s Burari inspection unit and different bus depots of the Delhi Transport Corporation. In the last week, the drive was confined to the Burari unit.
Operators who failed to get their buses tested are now furious. “Officials at the Burari unit have been working slowly and the checking at DTC depots were even slower,” said an operator. “There is a huge queue for getting a new speed governor. I had to wait outside the Burari unit for days to get my bus checked. I did not get a second chance,” he said.
Though the Delhi government did not come out with the final figures of the buses that have failed to clear the test, sources said at least 400 buses have failed to make the grade. “These are the buses run by thekedars. The buses are in such bad condition that there is no way these would have passed, that is why the operators did not bring them for inspection at all,” said an official of the Transport Department.
Operators are threatening to launch an agitation if their buses are not given the approval to ply. “There are more than 3,800 Blueline buses on Delhi roads, and according to our information, at least 350 have not passed. The government has not provided full facilities for the inspection and is now blaming us,” said Shyam Lal Gola of Delhi Bus Ekta Manch. “We will pull out all buses from the roads if everyone is not given the chance to get their buses checked,” he said.
Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf could not be contacted over the phone.