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Bluelines off roads, commuters suffer

With the blueline buses off the road in south and central Delhi due to the Commonwealth Games, commuting, especially for those traveling to and from south and central Delhi, has become an uphill task.
By Joyeeta Ghosh and Mallica Joshi | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON SEP 28, 2010 11:57 PM IST

With the blueline buses off the road in south and central Delhi due to the Commonwealth Games, commuting, especially for those traveling to and from south and central Delhi, has become an uphill task. Hours of waiting and then trying to squeeze in to an overcrowded bus have made traveling a harrowing experience for the common man.

The blueline buses have been taken off the roads since September 26 and their services will remain suspended till October 17.

Those traveling by bus routes such as 604, 512, 615, 620, 680, 507, 511, 520, 500, which mostly have bluelines, are bearing the maximum brunt. “I waited at the bus stop for half an hour but had to take an auto as the frequency of buses was very less,” said Vaishali Sharma, a Greater Kailash I resident who works in a private bank in Connaught Place.

For those studying in JNU, too, travelling to and from the university has become expensive. “As it is there was just one bus (615) to the campus and now with practically no buses we have resort to autos which is very costly,” said Ghazala Meena, a MA student in JNU.

The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has launched a few buses but their frequency is dismal.

Admitting that the commuters are facing problems, DTC officials said they are doing their best to make traveling easier for commuters. They also said it is not possible to run equal number of bluelines overnight. “Today, we deployed 4,500 buses and the working hours of the drivers have also been increased from 8 to 12 hours for the convenience of the commuters,” said a DTC spokesperson.

In the absence of the bluelines, DTC’s revenue has jumped around 50 per cent from Rs 2 crore to Rs 3 crore.

According to the Delhi Bus Ekta Manch, an association of blueline buses, out of the total 2,383 blueline buses that run in Delhi, 1,567 buses have been taken off the road and only 145 have been deployed on alternative routes till now informed
For many, the Metro was the last resort due to the low frequency of buses but even that ride wasn’t easy.

The rush in the trains was huge and many complained of technical snags, air-conditioners not working and lights switching off.

“The Metro service in the newly opened Gurgaon line is erratic. There are technical snags and trains get stranded for at least 15 minutes,” said Kartikeya Kaul, an engineering student who lives in Malviya Nagar. Metro officials deny any reports of snags. “Had there been unscheduled stoppages for long periods our server would have recorded it but nothing of the kind has surfaced so far,” said a DMRC spokesperson.

“The waiting time for the metro to Gurgaon is not less than six minutes and because of this there is a big rush, especially during the rush hours,” said Mahesh Yadav, a resident of Kidwai Nagar.

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