Blueline drivers want to stay off the road

Updated on Oct 15, 2007 12:06 AM IST

Commuters may face a tough time on Monday due to shortage of Blueline buses on the city's roads, reports Sidhartha Roy.

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Hindustan Times | BySidhartha Roy, New Delhi

Commuters may face a tough time on Monday due to shortage of Blueline buses on the city's roads. Many drivers are even unwilling to hit the road, fearing penal action by the traffic police, said bus operators.

In the last one week, the traffic police had impounded about 500 buses for violation of the Motor Vehicles Act and arrested about 80 drivers for violation of the Supreme Court's guidelines. As a result, the number of Blueline buses on the road has reduced to about 2,800, Shyam Lal Gola of Delhi Bus Ekta Manch said.

Blueline bus drivers have also formed an association of their own, the Blueline Driver Ekta Manch, and convened a general meeting at Punjabi Bagh on Monday morning. A large gathering of bus drivers in the morning would mean less buses on the roads during office hours.

"We have asked all bus drivers to assemble tomorrow to discuss topics like being hassled by the traffic police and congestion at bus stops and lanes," said Suraj Bhan, a member of the newly-formed association.

He said there are some rotten apples among the Blueline drivers who are sullying the image of all drivers. "Are we the only ones breaking rules on the roads? Why is action not taken against drivers of private vehicles who break the rules?" he said.

"We are facing injustice. Action is being taken against buses suddenly. Why were they allowed to ply earlier then?" Gola said. "Drivers are now unwilling to take out buses on the roads," he said.

The Delhi Transport Corporation has deployed maximum number of its buses to tide over the crisis. About 100 buses have been recalled from the National Capital Region for operation on city routes, a senior official said.

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