All Bluelines not to go off Delhi roads just as yet

The privately owned Blueline fleet, which gained notoriety for frequent accidents, is not going off the city roads from tomorrow as announced by Delhi Government in October.

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2010, 22:28 PM IST

New Delhi: The privately owned Blueline
fleet, which gained notoriety for frequent accidents, is not
going off the city roads from tomorrow as announced by Delhi
Government in October.

Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said January 31
has been set as last day for plying of the Blueline buses in
the city and in no circumstances the deadline would be
extended further.

Lovely said 823 buses will go off the roads tomorrow out
of total 2,052 such vehicles currently plying in over 600 city
routes as the period of their permit comes to an end today.

"We have decided not to approach the court for extension
of permits for 823 Bluelines. The permits for these vehicles
expired today," Lovely told reporters.

Lovely said another 389 buses will be removed by December
31 as their permits will also be expired by then.

"January 31 would be the last day for Blueline buses
in the city. We are not going to extend the deadline. The DTC
has made all preparations to extend its operation so that
commuters do not face any hardships," Lovely said.

Lovely had on October 25 at a press conference announced
that December 14 would be the last day for Bluelines in the
national capital.

However, today Lovely claimed that he did not announce
complete phase-out of the fleet but only stated that their
permit would not be renewed.

He said Government-run Delhi Transport Corporation now
has 6,500 buses including nearly 4,000 low-floor buses and
the fleet will be able to meet the transport requirement of
the city.

Asked what steps government were taking to ensure that
commuters do not face any difficulties, Lovely said DTC has
been told to expand its operation and prepare a proper
operation plan for areas where Bluelines are being removed.

"Moreover, now we have an extended Metro network. We
will also increase the services of RTVs (mini-buses). Buses
under cluster service will also start coming from January. So
commuters will not face any hardship," he said.

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.

Already five clusters have been allocated to private
entities and the first such service will begin its operation
by January in South Delhi.

"We are expecting around 800 buses under the five
clusters by middle of next year," said Transport Commissioner
R K Verma.

-PTI