Blueline claims one more life, more buses impounded


New Delhi : Delhi's privately operated Blueline buses Monday claimed one more life, taking the toll this year to 60, even as authorities impounded over 50 buses and asked all drivers to go for fresh training.

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"A Blueline bus on Route No 764 hit a motorcyclist from behind in the area between Delhi cantonment and the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport in the evening," said a police officer.

"The victim, Sudhir, 45, succumbed to his injuries on the way to hospital. He was taken to the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya hospital for post mortem," the officer said.

The latest accident took the toll due to the rash and negligent driving of 'killer' Blueline buses to 60. Delhi has about 4,200 Blueline buses, complimenting those run by the Delhi Transport Corp.

In another accident, a Blueline bus running between Bhajanpura and Noida seriously injured two people including a woman near Gokul Puri in the afternoon.

The victims, Seema Devi and her son Sonu, were going on a bike when the unruly bus hit them from behind.

"Both the victims have been shifted to the Guru Teg Bahadur hospital. The condition of Seema Devi is said to be critical," a police officer of the local police station said.

The drivers and conductors of both the buses were absconding.

Four people were killed by these private-run buses in the past week alone, leading to widespread uproar.

The two accidents came on a day the Delhi government intensified its drive against the Blueline buses, impounded 50 of them. It also asked all Blueline drivers to obtain fresh driving training certificates.

After a meeting with Delhi Lt. Governor Tejendra Khanna, Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf said: "We have asked Blueline bus drivers to obtain a fresh driving training certificate to drive on the city roads.

"They need to take fresh training from the Driving Training Institute and those who fail will not be given permission to drive," he told reporters.

Yusuf said nearly 8,000 bus drivers would have to go in for fresh training within 15 days.

"The esteemed Lt. Governor expressed his concern over the death of so many people and reiterated our commitment to phase out Blueline buses in the near future," the minister added.

"The transport department has been directed to cancel the permit of buses and invalidate drivers' licenses for breaking road rules. Just to get more passengers they over speed and finally kill innocent people," he added.

The minister said the department would call a meeting of all Blueline bus operators and ask them to register themselves as a company. "This corporatisation will bring in the culture of accountability," he said.

The government is also planning to introduce the 'kilometre scheme' where the transport department would fix the number of kilometres a bus can ply per day.

On July 1, a Blueline bus mowed down 11-year-old Morick Sharma after running over nearly a dozen vehicles in Raja Garden. At the time of accident, the killer bus was at a speed of 80 kmph.

On the same day, Sikandar, 20, was crushed to death by a Blueline in Kotwali in north Delhi. While a 14-year-old schoolboy came under the tyres of a Blueline in Vikaspuri Sunday, a speeding "killer" bus Saturday crushed a cyclist and critically injured a pedestrian in Sultanpuri – both in west Delhi.

Elsewhere in the capital, one person was killed Monday and at least 24 schoolchildren injured when a van overturned in east Delhi's Preet Vihar. Suleiman, 50, father of one of the students, lost his life in the accident.

Late Monday evening, police constable Vinod, posted at the Shahdara police station, was killed when an auto rickshaw hit his motorcycle in east Delhi.