Irked at spurt in accidents, court to slap notice on DTC
Taking into account the increasing accidents involving its ‘killer buses’, the Delhi High Court will issue a notice to the Delhi Transport Corporation.delhi Updated: Feb 10, 2012 00:25 IST
Taking into account the increasing accidents involving its ‘killer buses’, the Delhi High Court will issue a notice to the Delhi Transport Corporation.
The increase in the number of DTC buses has also led to a rise in the number of lives taken. In January 2012, the buses caused four fatal accidents. In 2011, DTC buses killed 83 people, an increase of almost 60% over 2010. Interestingly, most of these accidents are being caused by old DTC buses.
Disturbed by the increasing accidents, senior lawyer Kailash Vasudev, the amicus curiae (court-appointed advocate to assist on an important issue), said he would raise the issue during the next hearing on February 24.
Licence relaxation to blame
“The High Court, in 2007, initiated steps to phase out bluelines due to the accidents it caused. The situation still has not changed. DTC buses too are claiming many lives,” said Vasudev, who was instrumental in helping the HC decide on a blueline phaseout.
He said that he would soon be writing a letter to the Delhi government and DTC seeking statistics on the number of accidents caused by DTC buses — injuries and deaths — and traffic violation by its drivers.
Vasudev said that he would also seek an explanation on media reports claiming that out of the 2,500-old DTC buses that run on city routes, 1,300 buses were more than 10 years old. “I also question the 2007 Delhi government’s relaxation of five year experience for heavy vehicle driving license for DTC drivers, after they cited shortage of drivers,” he said.
High Court, as per its September 10, 2007 order, said that out of 2,485 drivers, even 300 could not make it to the grade owing to the requirement of five year experience on heavy vehicles and had asked the DTC and government to keep in mind these aspects.
Of the fleet of 2,500-old DTC buses, 900 are eight to 10 years old and just about 300 buses are less than eight years old. Sources said these buses should have been removed from service, but since that would create a shortage, the DTC was still using them.