New Delhi: With a government notification coming into effect Thursday, 1,600 privately run Blueline buses went off the capital`s roads. While many commuters have welcomed the decision, others are now worried about overcrowded public transport.
Often termed the `killer fleet` for numerous accidents and deaths, the private bus service has been under fire for quite some time.
These 1,600 buses were taken off the road from New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) areas -- mainly comprising central Delhi -- and near Commonwealth Games venues in east, north and south Delhi during the sports event. 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.
A transport department official said the notification came into effect from Thursday morning. He said the Delhi government will apprise Delhi High Court on the need for such a decision.
The high court is slated to hear the grievances of the private bus operators Friday.
"We will challenge the government`s decision and also attach a copy of the notification. We are waiting to put forth our point of view tomorrow (Friday) after which we will decide any further course of action," T.R. Khera of Graduate Bus Operator Association told reporters.
As per the city government`s decision, the rest of the 800 Blueline buses will be pushed off Delhi roads by Dec 14.
These buses were introduced in Delhi in 1992, ending not only the 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.
While the news has been welcomed by a number of commuters, not all were happy with the decision.
Sarita Dasgupta, an office-goer who takes a bus from near India Gate to Moti Bagh, said she would rather travel in a Blueline than a DTC bus.
"The service of DTC buses is very poor. The frequency is bad and they are hardly bothered if you board the bus or not! The bluelines were much more convenient," Dasgupta said.
Ashi Jain, a student, said: "Earlier, the biggest advantage of travelling in a DTC bus was probably that it never used to be overcrowded like the Blueline buses. But now that`s not the case. Because of fewer buses, DTC buses are always crowded and are driven at a high speed."
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Tuesday said her government was determined to banish these buses from December and promised the people that alternatives will be found soon.