Delhi HC refuses to extend permit of blueline buses

The Delhi High Court has turned down bus operators` plea seeking extension of permits of one- third of the 2000 `killer` bluelines which lapsed on Wednesday.

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 21:25 PM IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has turned
down bus operators` plea seeking extension of permits of one-
third of the 2000 `killer` bluelines which lapsed on Wednesday as the
city government informed it that public transport system is
"more than adequate" to cater to the people after their phase
out.

"The department feels that existing ridership of the
public transport system is more than adequate even if all
blueline buses go off the road," senior advocate K T Tulsi
said adding that the killer buses need to be phased out as
they are a threat to the safety of pedestrians of the capital
which amounts to violation of their fundamental rights.
"The total ridership capacity of all modes of
transport comes to 14.7 million as against the estimated
population of 18 million, one third of which are non-working
either on account of old age or house wives or children," he
further said.

The advocate submitted that around 220 more buses
would be procured by the DTC which would increase its fleet to
6,457 with carrying capacity of more than 67 lakh.

He said that in addition to buses, strength of other
public transport vehicles would be also increased and "there
will be by January 2011 a total of 15,785 buses (excluding
blueline) in three categories with combined ridership capacity
of 102,13,500."

The blueline operators opposed the government stand
and contended that there has been drastic decline in the
number of accidents.

A bench headed by Justice A K Sikri, however, turned
down the plea of blueline bus operators association which had
pleaded that extension of permits be granted to the blueline
buses which went off the roads from today.

Senior advocate Arvind Nigam, appearing for one of the
association, submitted at the end of today`s proceedings that
the permit be extended which was turned down by the bench.

The state government had yesterday failed to meet its
deadline of completely phasing out the `killer` blueline buses
from the city by today but had decided to withdraw more than
one-third of the over 2,000-strong fleet with immediate
effect.
Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely had yesterday
set a new deadline of January 31 "as last day" for bluelines
in the city and said 823 buses would go off the roads out of
total 2,052 today as government has decided not to extend
their permits.

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

The Minister had on October 25 announced that December
14 would be the last day for bluelines in the national
capital.

PTI