With DTC buses, including the recently introduced low-floor ones, embarking on a 'killing spree', the transport corporation has in the past two weeks sacked nearly 200 of its drivers.
Delhi traffic police said as many as 17 people were killed by DTC buses this year till March 15. Last year, five people were crushed to death by these buses during the same period.
The Hindustan Times on February 27 had reported how in the absence of Blueline buses (notoriously known as killerlines), DTC buses have started crushing lives under their wheels.
The increase in the number of fatal accidents involving DTC buses forced the corporation to identify shortcomings in driving abilities among its drivers. Accordingly, Delhi Transport Corporation had initiated a skill test drive for its newly appointed drivers on February 26.
"We have sacked nearly 200 DTC drivers who were appointed on contract. They, despite having valid driving licences, do not have adequate skills to drive on city roads safely," said a senior DTC officer on condition of anonymity.
According to him the harsh step had to be taken to save DTC's image from being tarnished.
The corporation, which was facing acute shortage of drivers, had appointed about 5,000 drivers on contract before Commonwealth Games to run its fleet of 6,400 buses.
Nearly 50% of these are low-floor buses. The appointments, according to DTC officials, were made based on valid driving licences of the drivers and not on their practical experience of driving, said sources.
"We have issued more than thousand challans to DTC drivers till February 15 as compared to only 274 during the same period last year. More than 500 drivers have already been prosecuted for around 1,000 cases of traffic norm violations. They were prosecuted for all kinds of violations, including rash driving, red light jumping, tempering speed governors etc," said Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).