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All Bluelines Not To Go Off Roads On Wednesday, New Deadline Jan 31

PTI 14 Dec 2010, 22:42:00 IST
New Delhi, Dec 14 (PTI) Delhi Government has failed to keep its deadline of completely phasing out the 'killer'Blueline buses from the city by tomorrow but decided to remove more than one-third of the over 2,000-strong fleet withimmediate effect.

Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely today set a new deadline of January 31 "as last day" for Bluelines in the cityand said 823 buses will go off the roads out of total 2,052 tomorrow as government has decided not to extend theirpermits.

 "In no circumstances we will extended the deadline of January 31, 2011 further," Lovely announced at a pressconference. The Minister had on October 25 at a press conference announced that December 14 would be the last dayfor Bluelines in the national capital.

He said permits of 823 buses will expire tomorrow and government will not approach the court to extend it. The Delhi High Court has been hearing a petition on phase-out of the privately owned Blueline buses which gained notoriety for frequent accidents.

Noting that adequate arrangements are being made by Delhi Transport Corporation to ensure that commuters do not face any difficulty in areas from where the Bluelines will go off the roads, he said government was determined to rid the city of the bus fleet.

Lovely said another 389 buses will be removed by December 31 as their permits will also expire 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 hasmade all preparations to extend its operation so that commuters do not face any hardships," Lovely said.

He said all the remaining 840 Blueline buses would be phased out by January 31. "We will terminate permits of thoseBluelines also whose permits extend beyond January 31."

Lovely said DTC 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 hasbeen 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). Busesunder 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. PTI