With almost a two-fold increase in fatal accidents, it seems the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses have not only replaced Blueline buses on the road but also taken over their infamous 'killer fleet' tag.
On Sunday morning, a DTC bus mowed down a 14-year-old schoolgirl and her grandmother in central Delhi's Kamla Market area. According to police, the driver was under the influence of liquor.
This year, the capital has witnessed 80 cases of fatal accidents involving DTC buses, against last year's 48, in which over 90 people have been killed, police said. Five DTC bus drivers were booked till December 15 this year for drunken driving, they said.
Reckless driving by DTC bus drivers have forced Delhi Traffic Police to launch a crackdown. The result: 6,436 challans were issued to DTC drivers in 2011 against 5,260 in 2010.
Also, there has been over a six-fold increase in the number of DTC buses impounded for violating traffic norms in 2011 against last year.
According to the official data of Delhi Traffic Police, till December 15 this year, 760 DTC buses were confiscated for flouting traffic rules. In 2010, only 120 DTC buses were impounded.
Satyendra Garg, Joint CP (traffic) said, "There has been an exponential increase in the number of DTC buses impounded till December 15 this year. We have been taking action against DTC bus drivers caught violating traffic rules. Five DTC bus drivers have been prosecuted for drunken driving this year."
Delhi Police officers say hiring of untrained drivers is one of the reasons behind the increasing number of accidents.
DTC reportedly hired a number of drivers who used to drive Blueline buses.
On Sunday, Alice Bharti, a class 9 student, and her grandmother Krishna were killed while her cousin Muskan was injured after being run over by a speeding DTC bus. Angry over the accident, relatives of the victim and locals blocked Asaf Ali Road for over half an hour and tried to vandalise the bus.
They alleged that Amar Singh, the driver, had allowed his friend to drive the vehicle under the influence of liquor.