New Delhi: Noting that increasing number
of accidents involving blueline buses forced the government to
phase them out, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday said
alternative arrangements are being made to ensure that
commuters did not face any inconvenience.
"The blueline bus operators forced us to make the
decision. We cannot allow them to continue," Dikshit said
after a Cabinet meeting.
Delhi Government had yesterday decided to completely
phase out 2,400 privately-owned blueline buses, which gained
notoriety for frequent accidents, by December 14.
The Chief Minister said government will take all
possible steps to ensure that commuters do not face hardships
in the absence of the blueline buses.
By next week, the government will finalise modalities
for introduction of the cluster bus service in the city.
"The Transport department has been told to submit a
final paper on cluster scheme of buses to the cabinet within a
week`s time so that an appropriate decision could be taken to
further streamline public transport system," she said.
Dikshit said Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) has
sufficient number of buses to cater to the needs of the
commuters. "During the Commonwealth Games, DTC has proved that
it is competent enough to provide a punctual, reliable and
comfortable public transport system in the city."
Currently, DTC has a fleet of 6,500 buses including
4,000 low floor buses.
Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the mini
buses (RTV) may be allowed to ply on specific routes. Now the
mini buses are only allowed to operate as feeder bus services
around the metro stations and as school buses.
"We will announce a policy in a day or two. The city
has around 400 mini buses," 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.
As per the plan nearly 650 bus routes across the city
will be divided into 17 clusters, each comprising profitable
and non-profitable routes to be run by a private operator.
Officials said the meeting discussed the impact of
phasing out the bluelines on the city transportation system.
Dikshit said commuters will not face any problem as
Metro has also expanded its network across the city.
Lovely said the government will not succumb to any
pressure and was determined to phase out the blueline fleet
by December 14.