No one to keep eye on illegal white lines
The brutal rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving contract carriage bus on Sunday night has brought the focus on the way these buses operate in the Capital. HT reports.delhi Updated: Dec 19, 2012 00:52 IST
The brutal rape of a 23-year-old girl in a moving contract carriage bus on Sunday night has brought the focus on the way these buses operate in the Capital.
According to senior transport department officials, the DTC and orange-coloured cluster buses are the two types of 'long' buses allowed to run on routes identified by the state transport authority and pick passengers.
Apart from them, only smaller buses such as feeder and mini buses can run as stage carriage buses on pre-identified routes and pick local passengers.
"All other contract buses, which run in the garb of white lines and pick passengers from every bus stop, are actually illegal," said a senior transport department official.
These contract carriage buses are meant to run either for schools, or for specific offices and companies or to carry marriage parties and groups for picnics. "These buses run on an agreement between the bus owner and the customer. They can, by no means, ferry local passengers for a fare," the official added.
However, the bus the victim and her friend boarded from the Munirka DDA flats bus stop for Dwarka was one of those illegal contract carriage buses. The crew of such buses misuse them to pick local passengers and make a quick buck.
"Several of these buses ply on Delhi roads every day night, that too under the nose of the traffic police and transport department. If there was strict enforcement and awareness about these illegal buses, the victim and his friend would probably have not got into any trouble," accepted a transport department official.
The Supreme Court in 1997 had also directed the transport department to ensure that each contract carriage bus had the photograph and details of the driver and helpers hired for that bus displayed prominently in the bus.
"The transport department and the traffic police have to ensure that the rule is followed. But no one seems to be bothered about it. No record of drivers and crew members is maintained anywhere, which is essentially the violation of the SC order," an official said.