By Moon Garg:
Recently, the government of Delhi banned blue line buses from plying on Delhi roads. The decision has been made in light of reckless driving by blue line bus drivers and the consequent accidents which were piling in numbers. As as per government statistics blue line buses were responsible for six times more accidents than Delhi Transport Corporation buses. The large number of accidents by them has earned them the title of Killer buses. How justified is the phasing out? The buses have become a name synonymous with convenience due to the prompt service and easy availability. They could be seen plying all over Delhi and helped commuters to avoid the long queues of overcrowded DTC buses. Their presence had enabled people to access every part of the city.
The Delhi government’s decision has missed the root cause and blamed only blue line buses for the accidents. We must not forget that accidents are an effect of several factors. The government has overlooked the fact that people have a harrowing time crossing the roads due to absence of foot-over-bridges or underway passes on many busy roads. They have overlooked how blue line buses are granted license without giving drivers proper tests on their driving skills which results in their lackadaisical approach to road safety.
The absence of proper training to drivers of public transport is also an issue which needs attention. And the biggest culprit – the lack or the absence of a strict hands on approach to all those who dare to challenge traffic and road rules by over speeding, breaching red lights and overtaking.
The Delhi government’s decision seems more sentimental than practical. The government is trying to cover its own flaws in the garb of blue line buses which is not unwarranted. A more responsible response from the government is required in terms of strict license granting policy, strict implementation of traffic rules, imposing heavy fine and punishment on defaulters rather than just phasing out blue line buses from the road.
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