End of road for 1,600 Blueline buses from Thursday

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) The 1,600-odd Blueline buses will become a part of history with a notification to do away with the private bus service, blamed for deaths of hundreds on Delhi roads, coming into effect Thursday.

These buses were taken off roads from the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) areas — mainly comprising central Delhi — and near the Games venues in east, north and south Delhi during the Commonwealth Games.

However, the government allowed some 865 of them to ply on the roads.

But within days, one of the buses was involved in yet another fatal accident, sparking anger and sealing the fleet’s collective fate.

‘The file has been sent back to the transport department, following the assent of Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna,’ a Raj Bhavan official told IANS.

Speaking to IANS, a transport department official said the notification will come into effect from Thursday morning.

He said the Delhi government will apprise the Delhi High Court on the need for such a decision.

The high court is slated to hear the grievances of the private bus operators on Friday.

‘We will challenge the government’s decision and also attach a copy of the notification,’ T.R. Khera of Graduate Bus Operator Association told IANS.

As per the city government’s decision, the rest of the 800 Blueline buses will be pushed off Delhi roads by Dec 14 — ending the road for the buses that have earned a sobriquet of ‘killer buses’.

These buses were introduced in Delhi in 1992, ending not only the long-time monopoly of the state-owned Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC), but also gaining an upper hand over the state-run service in terms of financial matters.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Tuesday made it clear that her government was determined to banish these buses from December and promised the people that alternatives will be found soon.

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