Blueline operators to fight phase-out plan
With the government's deadline for phasing out Blueline buses drawing nearer, bus operators are gearing up to take on the government, reports Atul Mathur.delhi Updated: Nov 05, 2009 00:37 IST
With the government's deadline for phasing out Blueline buses drawing nearer, bus operators are gearing up to take on the government.
Blueline operators said the government has no plans to rehabilitate the operators who have been serving Delhi for almost 19 years.
"We have been telling the government to take us under the kilometre scheme. But the government does not seem to be in a mood to listen," said Shyam Lal Gola, spokesperson, Delhi Bus Ekta Manch.
"With no solution in sight, we have no choice but to get offensive now," said Gola, without elaborating on what their next step would be.
There were about 5,800 blueline buses on Delhi roads till about five years ago. However, with the transport department cancelling bus permits with each fatal accident and refusing to renew the permits of buses, the number of blue line buses has come down to 1,700.
Recklessly run buses and inefficient and careless crew are the biggest reasons for Delhi government's decision to pack off blue line buses from Delhi. In 2007, Bluelines killed 151 people on Delhi roads while 111 persons were killed in 2008. Till October this year, the number was 57.
Fearing that they will be taken off roads, some blue line operators said they are ready to run their buses on terms and conditions regulated by the government.
"Allowing us to run under kilometre scheme would solve the problem. With this, we will get money for providing services to people while the revenue from ticket sales would go to the government," said Paramjit Singh, a bus operator.
"We are also ready to have GPS system installed so that our movement is tracked and controlled. We are also ready to bring in new low floor or semi-low floor buses if the government gives us a chance."
With the Commonwealth Games in October 2010 in mind, the government has now planned to replace the blue line buses with strengthened fleet of DTC buses and Corporates running their buses on pre-defined routes.
"The DTC has not lived up to the public's expectations," said Gola.
"The blueline buses can really help in strengthening public transport in the Capital."