Court reserves order on phase-out of Blueline buses

January 20th, 2011 - 11:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday reserved its judgment on the fate of privately-owned and run Blueline buses, blamed for hundreds of deaths on city roads and proposed to be phased out by Jan 31.The order on the phase out of the last of the batches of Blueline buses was reserved by the division bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Suresh Kait.

The Delhi government argued that Blueline buses must be phased out from the national capital as these were a threat to commuters.

Appearing before the bench, standing counsel Najmi Waziri submitted that public safety was the paramount objective of the government which had a strong fleet of its own buses to meet the requirements of public transport.

He claimed introduction of 2,000 low-floor buses last year had given a big relief to the public and the phase-out of Blueline buses had drastically reduced the number of accidents.

The Blueline bus operators asserted that they be allowed to ply on the roads till the private low-floor buses were introduced in several clusters to replace them. They also sought participation in the allotment of clusters.

Urging the court not to allow the bus operators’ plea, the government said it had more than 6,500 buses in its fleet to meet the requirement of public transport and 4,000 more would be added in a phased manner.

The government Dec 27, 2010 announced that more than 1,200 Blueline buses will be phased out from the capital’s roads by the end of the year, and replaced by private low-floor buses.

The government has so far cleared five clusters, a system under which the over 600 public transport bus routes in the city have been divided among 17 clusters.

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