The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the state government to file an affidavit informing it about the number of fatal accidents involving Blueline buses from 2009.
The court also hinted that it was against the Delhi government’s plan to bring back the phased-out ‘killer’ Blueline buses by giving them alternate routes in outer Delhi.
“This is like bringing back these buses in a new avatar. There is no point. When you are killing people in the city, what is the guarantee you will be safer in outer and rural areas?” a bench headed by acting chief justice BD Ahmed asked.
Blueline operators as well as the government said the buses should be allowed to ply as they have now agreed to be fitted with GPS, control their speed and also keep public safety in mind. However, the court said, “Let us first go through the accident record. We want details from 2009.”
The bench asked the government to submit the new permit conditions for those who will be given fresh routes and also wanted to know how different it is from the old permit conditions.
Kailash Vasudev, who is the amicus curiae in the case (senior lawyer assisting the court on an issue), opposed the government’s plan saying conduct of the Blueline drivers will be worse as there is “no proper policing in outer Delhi areas”.
“I am opposing the rehabilitation plan. Were they not removed from the Capital, as they were indisciplined, rash and killed innocent pedestrians? What is the guarantee that they will not repeat the act in the alternate routes given to them?” Vasudev said.
The transport department worked out a policy in September last year to rehabilitate nearly 1,500 Blueline operators who had surrendered their permits a few years ago when the government had announced its plan to phase out the buses.
The transport department has chalked out 97 new routes on which 1,532 new buses will be allowed to run. These routes are different from the 657 routes on which DTC and private buses operate.
The government plans to connect areas developed in the past 10 years such as Dwarka, Rohini, Jasola, Vasant Kunj, Narela and unauthorised colonies in outer Delhi and south Delhi.