The Delhi Government on Friday informed the High Court that it had taken several measures and many others are in the pipeline for the rehabilitation of Blueline bus operators who had been rendered jobless following phasing out of these buses.

In an affidavit submitted in the Court of Justices A. K. Sikri and Siddharth Mridul, the Government said it had already allotted two clusters of routes to those Blueline bus operators who had formed companies.

The affidavit said these operators could be allowed to run their buses only when they either formed companies or cooperatives or tie-up with either of the two entities as the routes of the city transport service had either been allotted to companies or cooperatives following the phasing out of Bueline buses.

The affidavit further said as many as 1,045 of these buses had been granted contract carriage for hiring out for school and other transport services in the Capital. About 187 Blueline buses had been given the option to ply on the city's outskirts, the affidavit added.

Inter-State routes

About the demand of the Blueline bus operators for permission to ply the idle buses on inter-State routes, the Government said that it would invite bids and the chosen operators would then be allotted the routes.

The Government reply came on a petition by a group of Blueline bus operators seeking directions to the Government to utilise their idle buses in a meaningful way, include their registered companies in the cluster system and to frame a policy for their financial rehabilitation to cope with the post phasing out difficulties.

They have urged the Government to allow them to run these buses on the inter-State routes which would unburden the over-burdened Delhi Transport Corporation and the State Road Transport Corporation buses and the passengers would have more buses to travel.

They further submitted that of the 17 routes of clusters created by the Delhi Government for operating low-floor buses in the city as many as 8 are still vacant which could be allotted to them to operate their newly-purchased low-floor buses fitted with GPS under registered companies as they have created such entities and registered them with the designated authority.

Recounting their difficulties, the petitioners said that apart from suffering heavy losses due to the pashing out of their buses, they had to bear the additional burden of repayment of their loans to the banks and other financial institutions without having any means to generate income.

Low-floor buses

On a direction by the Court, the Government had in 2007 submitted a plan to phase out Blueline buses and bring in their place a new-look passenger-friendly public transport system with all buses fitted with electronic gadgets for safe driving and tracking devices.

The Government has since phased out a vast majority of these buses and run in their place low-floor buses with GPS. Now only two hundred fifty buses remain to be phased out by April 2012.

The Court has been hearing the matter suo motu since 2007 following a spate of fatal accidents involving certain Blueline buses. About a dozen persons had been killed in these accidents.

The Court will take up the petition on September 30 for further hearing.

Keywords: Blueline buses

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