They have ruthlessly crushed the lives out of more than a thousand people in the last decade. With a fleet of just 2,300 buses, the ‘killer Blueline’ fleet is currently behind one fatal accident every second day.
“They don’t believe in lane driving and even flout the most basic traffic norms, especially the speed limit which doesn’t seem to exist for them. These buses are only concerned with profit — even if it means stuffing people like animals into the buses and killing others on the road,” said a senior Delhi Traffic Police officer.
As per Delhi Police figures, bluelines claimed 65 victims till October 15 this year; the latest being a 22-year-old audio CD shop owner.
“The DTC has a fleet almost three times that of the Blueline fleet but has still seen less accidents. One can attribute this to the fact that DTC buses are more disciplined, comfortable for the commuters and more accountable,” the officer said.
As opposed to 97 fatal accidents that Blueline buses were involved in in 2009, DTC buses were involved in only 46 accidents. While the killer fleet has claimed 65 victims till October 15, 37 people lost their lives in fatal accidents involving DTC buses with a fleet 6,200 buses.
The Traffic Police had slapped more than 51,000 challans on Blueline buses in 2009.
“One can’t avoid accidents while on the road, but disciplined driving can certainly bring down their number. It is due to both our on-duty training modules and soft training that drivers are given in their free time that we maintain our standard,” said a senior DTC official requesting anonymity.
The DTC is currently running various training courses at each of its 30-odd depots.
With more than 900 Blueline buses being taken off 68 routes and another 700 to be prohibited from running on 71 routes in NDMC areas over the next two days, DTC is planning to fill in the vacuum.
“Our priority will be to minimize inconvenience to the people. We will start by pumping the 600-odd low-floor buses that were on Commonwealth Games duty onto routes affected by the Blueline phasing out. As soon as we get the go-ahead, we will increase our fleet’s operational strength to more than 11,000, with almost an equal number of the 6,200 buses running both during day and night,” the official said.