Come December 15, “killer” Blueline buses will be history in Delhi.
The 11 days of the Commonwealth Games from October 3 to 14, during which a large number of Blueline buses were kept off the roads, came as an eye opener to the transport authorities.
The transport system did not collapse despite their absence.
Given the Blueline bus drivers’ propensity for rash driving and frequent fatal accidents, questions arose about whether they were needed at all.
A fatal accident that a Blueline bus caused on October 22 — just one day after all Blueline buses were allowed to return to Delhi’s roads — then sealed their fate.
On Monday, Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely announced “complete phase out” of Blueline buses by December 14.
There were about 2,400 Blueline buses operating in the Capital before the Games. Those plying in the New Delhi municipal area — around 650 — have already been told they cannot return.
Around 950, which had been grounded during the Games but were allowed to return after the event ended, will be phased out in the next two days.
The remaining 850 buses — which have the permits valid till December 14 — will also not have their permits renewed.
“I cannot leave the residents of Delhi at the mercy of the Blueline bus drivers,” Lovely said.
The minister agreed that the commuters might face some problems initially, but said that Delhi Transport Corporation buses and chartered buses between them could take care of Delhi’s needs.