Delhi High Court on Monday declined to restrain a government notification to phase out the capital’s Blueline buses notorious for their reckless drivers. The direction was passed on a petition filed by a federation of Blueline buses challenging the Delhi government’s Oct 27 notification ordering the phasing out of the last of the 2,400 privately-run buses, responsible for hundreds of deaths on roads.
The division bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Valmiki Mehta said the government had the power to take such a decision.
The court asked the government to file its response within four weeks on the plea of Blueline bus operators.
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.
Cluster one, comprising 32 routes, was to have around 270 Blueline buses.
Last week, the high court had allowed the Blueline bus owners to operate in south Delhi saying that the notification for a complete phase-out of the service from the city by Dec 14 will not apply to cluster one.
Over 1,000 new low-floor buses, which were used to ferry athletes and dignitaries during the just concluded Commonwealth Games, have now joined the Delhi Transport Corporation‘s (DTC) fleet.
The DTC will also induct more buses in its fleet in the coming days, as per the notification.
The court was hearing a petition by south Delhi Blueline bus operators alleging that the government had failed to procure the requisite number of new low-floor buses and decided unreasonably to axe the 2,400 buses.
The operators said the government banned their buses ahead of the Commonwealth Games. They said their bus service was not restored even after the sporting event ended Oct 14 and the government came out with a new notification for a complete phase-out of the buses.