Blueline buses go off the roads from Feb 1
With the final deadline to completely phase out Bluelines expiring on Monday, the 'killer' fleet, which had gained notoriety for involvement in frequent mishaps, will be off the roads from February 1.
As part of efforts to streamline the public transport system in the city, the Delhi government had shunted out 823 Blueline buses on December 14 last year and removed 389 more on December 31 out of a total of 2,052 such vehicles. Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely had earlier said January 31 will be the "last day" for the remaining 840 Blueline buses in the city.
He said the state run Delhi Transport Corporation will able to meet the transportation needs of the people. Officials said the "complete phase out" of the fleet is "on schedule" and notices have been issued to Blueline operators to surrender their permits by Monday.
The Delhi High Court had on January 20 reserved its order on the city government's plea not to permit the Blueline buses to come back on roads. The bus operators had moved the court seeking to run their buses on the roads till the government implements the new cluster bus system.
The court has turned down operators' plea for extension of permits of one-third of the 2,000 Bluelines which lapsed. Justifying its decision to phase out Blueline buses, the government had told the court that the private buses are six times more accident prone than DTC buses. A Delhi government official said any Blueline bus plying on roads after January 31 will be impounded as permits have been suspended.
Asked about some Bluelines running on roads after painting the vehicles white, he said a drive will be launched and all buses running without permit will be seized. Asked about the challenge before the DTC, an official from the transport agency said it is capable of handling the passenger traffic of the city.
"We now have a fleet of 6,200, including 3575 low floor buses. We are confident of being able to handle the situation. There will be no problem. At any given day, at least 5,000 DTC buses are there on the roads," the official said.
The Delhi government has been trying to modernise the entire public transport system in the city and has procured hundreds of swanky low floor buses, including air conditioned and non air conditioned vehicles. The government had last year announced an ambitious cluster bus service scheme under which corporate entities were proposed to be given certain routes in the city on the pattern of cities like Paris and London.
The first cluster bus service is expected to begin its operation in February. Delhi government had in 2009 divided nearly 650 bus routes across the city into 17 clusters, each comprising profitable and non-profitable routes and decided to give each cluster to a private operator.
Banihal/Udhampur/Jammu Hundreds of vehicles, stranded for four days, were allowed towards Kashmir on Friday night as one way was restored on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway after freshly building a road stretch to replace the one washed away in flash floods, officials said. Senior Superintendent of Police national highway, Shabir Ahmad Malik said while all blockades were removed and traffic cleared, the major problem of washing away of the road patch at Dewal bridge near Samroli on June 21 took three-and-half-days to be cleared.
As part of our 'Walled City dictionary' series that explores the names of Old Delhi places. Despite being a mere courtesan, Anarkali dares Emperor Akbar with a spunky dance. Golcha cinema, in Daryaganj, is screening the digitally coloured version of the classic Mughal-e-Azam. The single-screen hall shut down six years ago (last movie screened was Kahani 2). Golcha came up in 1954. The theatre is now a ghost of its recent past.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted a five-member high-powered panel for overall coordination of G20 meetings to be held in the union territory next year. Acting upon a communique from the Union ministry of external affairs dated June 4, the principal secretary to the J&K government, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi accorded sanction for the constitution of the five-member panel.
The National Investigation Agency on Friday conducted searches at multiple locations in Punjab in the last year's Jalalabad bomb blast case. The NIA conducted searches at 6 locations in the districts of Ferozepur, Fazilka and Tarn Taran and digital devices (mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards, DVRs) , ammunition and other incriminating documents/materials were seized.
Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said that after the Independence of the country, only for the second time assembly members from J&K can't take part in the presidential elections scheduled for next month. Earlier in 1992, when militancy was at its peak and J&K was under Governor's rule, the erstwhile state had no assembly then so legislators from J&K couldn't participate in the elections for the country's President.