Crying that injustice is being done to thousands of people working on Blueline buses and their families, the Blueline bus operators said they would challenge the Delhi government’s decision.
The bus operators said Delhi government should have worked out a rehabilitation plan for Blueline bus operators and drivers and should have taken them in confidence before announcing the phase-out plan.
“Thousands of people are going to come on road with this decision. We will challenge the government’s decision,” said Shyam Lal Gola, spokesperson for Delhi Bus Ekta Manch.
Protesting against the government’s decision, more than 200 bus operators and drivers staged a dharna at Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely’s residence.
“I have a family of seven to take care of. I don’t know where will I get food for them now,” said Dheeraj Kumar, a Blueline conductor.
Kumar said four persons — bus operator, driver, conductor and a helper — are directly associated with each of the 2,300 buses which will be pulled off the road in the next 50 days.
“With one stroke, the government has made more than 9,000 people jobless. At least 50,000 people will be affected by this decision of the government,” added Kumar.
Gola said the bus operators have given three options to the government to rehabilitate the crews. “The government can either takeover our buses and run them under the kilometre-scheme along with its DTC fleet or give us permits to run on the NCR routes or on inter-state routes,” Gola said.
“We are going to meet the transport minister and the chief minister with our demands on Tuesday. If we don’t get a good response we will move the Court and also resort to chakka jam,” Gola said.
Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the government had yet to decide on rehabilitating the Blueline operators and drivers. “Our priority is to bring order on Delhi roads by phasing out these buses. Rehabilitation will be considered later,” said Lovely.