Delhi government got a major reprieve on Tuesday regarding phasing out Blueline buses. It was anxious about the Delhi High Court's endorsement of its plan all along but all decks were cleared for starting the phase out from December 14 as per plan.
A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri deferred the hearing of two petitions filed by Blueline bus operators to December 15. They were seeking extension of permits citing various flaws in the government order, which they felt was "against public interest". The court has not stayed the phase out though it was aggressively requested by Blueline operators.
The hearing on Tuesday couldn't take place because Justice Suresh Kait, who has been part of the bench along with Justice Sikri, was on leave.
A senior lawyer associated with the hearing has expressed doubt whether the Delhi government will go ahead with the phase out on December 14 as the matter was under the consideration of the court.
Transport department officials, however, said they were ready with the phase out plan.
"The situation has drastically changed since 2001 when there were more Blueline buses on Delhi roads than DTC buses and the people also preferred Bluelines. We have more than 6,000 buses now which can easily cater to 30 lakh passengers every day," said a senior transport department official, wishing to remain anonymous.
As per the notification, around 2,400 Blueline buses will cease to operate after December 14.