The Commonwealth Games athletes and delegates will now get a feel of real Delhi.
The vehicles they will be travelling in are going to be driven by Blueline bus drivers.
Facing an acute shortage of drivers after 800 drivers stopped reporting for duty, the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee is planning to rope in Blueline bus drivers, apart from school bus drivers, to fill the gap.
The designated drivers were specifically trained for Games duty. The drivers, however, stopped reporting for duty complaining about long working hours and stale food being served to them. Security personnel were also not allowing them to bring their own food inside the venues.
"To meet the requirement, we had drawn a list of nearly 1,000 drivers, mainly school bus drivers," said a senior OC official who didn't wish to be named. "Many of these drivers have reported for duty today. However, we will also rope in Blueline bus drivers so that we have adequate manpower."
Extra drivers are available as 1,600 Blueline buses are off the city roads during the Games. "There are usually two drivers working on shifts for each of these buses. We can easily deploy 500 such drivers for Games vehicles," he said.
"We have sent many drivers after being asked by the Delhi government but they have received really bad treatment," said Shyam Lal Gola, spokesperson of the Delhi Bus Ekta Manch. “They are not getting food and uniform and their identity cards are also not made yet.”
Though they are well versed with the roads of the capital, the Blueline bus drivers are also infamous for rash driving.
"That shouldn't be a problem in the dedicated Games lanes. The vehicles will also be escorted by traffic police personnel," the OC official said.
OC Secretary General Lalit Bhanot couldn’t be contacted over the phone despite repeated attempts.