On Sunday morning, a little past 10, a speeding Blueline ran over a group of pedestrians on Mathura Road in south Delhi. A child and five women were among the dead.
In a few hours, the bus was found to have all the makings of the killer that the private-owned Blueline fleet has gained notoriety for. And, of course, it was the perfect example of how the Delhi government has failed to detect, forget wiping out, these killers on our roads.
To start with, the bus driver did not have the mandatory ID-card to ply on city roads. “Anil Kumar, who was driving the bus, neither had a permit nor an identification card and was not the authorised driver,” said Delhi Transport minister Haroon Yusuf.
The bus was run by more than one person — an excuse most owners use when in trouble. The owner of the bus, Manish Kakkar, had given the contract of running the bus to one Nawab Khan, who in turn, had sublet it to two drivers —
Jogender Kumar and Krishan Lal. “It appears the driver was asked by one of these two to run the bus,” Yusuf said.
The bus also had a speed governor that had been tampered with. Interestingly, it had been issued a fitness certificate in July when a series of accidents forced the government to launch an inspection drive. Yusuf admitted that the operators had outsmarted the enforcement team.
The bus also had a history of violations and yet nobody bothered to pin it down. It had been challaned six times in the past one year. The offences included dangerous driving and jumping traffic light.
The government has set up an inquiry committee. Its report is expected in the next two days. The police, for a change, acted strict, booking the driver for a non-bailable offence (Section 304 that is culpable homicide not amounting to murder).