Blueline buses in Delhi get fresh lease of life

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Old 01-Feb-2011
Blueline buses in Delhi get fresh lease of life

New Delhi: The Blueline buses, dubbed "killer buses" because of their reckless drivers, have earned a fresh lease of life. They were to be withdrawn from the roads yesterday.

A division bench headed by Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Suresh Kait pulled up the transport department for bringing out a notification dated January 28 which banned the buses on city roads from January 31.

The court permitted the operators to run their buses till the pronouncement of final judgment on the bus owners' plea which was reserved on January 20. Permits of 840 Blueline buses, which have been operating in the metropolis for the past two decades, were to expire yesterday.

This was supposed to be the last batch of Blueline buses to be phased out after 823 buses were phased out on December 14 and 1,212 buses on December 31.

Blueline buses have been operating in the metropolis for the past two decades. While initially they ran as Redline buses, their tag was changed to Blueline. The change of tag, however, did not provide solace as these privately-owned buses continued to kill people on roads due to their rash driving earning them the sobriquet of killer buses.

Earlier, Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said earlier yesterday, said: "Today [Monday] will be the last day for Blueline buses. They will not ply on Delhi roads from tomorrow [Tuesday]."

Lovely held a series of meetings with the DTC and State Transport Authority (STA) officials to prepare detailrf plans to make sure that withdrawal of Blueline buses do not cause inconvenience to commuters.

DTC has assured to press into service about 5,500 out of its 6,200 fleet from yesterday and increasing their frequencies, particularly on the routes on which the last phase of Blueline buses plied. Drivers and conductors will now be required to put in 12 hours of services per day instead of eight hours. DTC has assured to pay them overtime for four hours.

According to Lovely, 44 cluster buses will hit South Delhi roads within a week and their numbers will keep increasing as an when the operators get buses from manufacturers. Plans are to have 44,000 cluster buses operating in Delhi eventually on lines of the bus services of London and several other western world cities.

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