The Blueline fleet of buses will be off roads this Saturday and Sunday, the Delhi government decided on Friday.
“The move will give Blueline operators a chance to fix shortcomings in the fleet, its crew and the manner in which they are run. Over these two days, the crew will drive the fleet into Delhi Transport Corporation depots for inspection,” Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit told reporters after a high-level meeting on the issue.
She said the government was compelled to act tough in the face of no let up in the crew’s “irresponsible behaviour” despite warnings. “The government cannot remain a mute spectator,” she said.
The government also decided to continue its crackdown on the buses and not allow them on roads till they behave. In the meantime, DTC will run its full fleet.
Chief Secretary R. Narayanaswami said the situation would be reviewed mid-week and a decision taken on whether Bluelines would continue to be off roads. “We cannot withdraw these buses overnight as people do need public transport,” he said.
Principal Secretary (Transport) R. Chandramohan said DTC staff and technicians would check every Blueline bus and ensure they are fit in all respects to ply. “The authorisation card of the driver has to be displayed and this would be checked in the renewed drive,” he said.
Dikshit also directed officers of the Transport Department to mark a visible sign on those Blueline buses found absolutely fit for the benefit of passengers.
It was also decided that the conductors of DTC and Blueline buses would have access to an electric bell to send a message to the bus driver for stopping and restarting. “This would help in overcoming accidents where passengers die or injure themselves falling from footsteps,” said Dikshit.
Traffic Police officials said they were making announcements on pedestrian safety at nine major intersections and soon extend it to 37 others.