During the fifties Delhi was described to be ‘the biggest village’ of the world. The concept of planned development of Delhi had its origin in the sixties. A contingent plan of development was formulated keeping in view the prospective settlement of hordes of Punjabi refugees from Pakistan who had come to settle in the city in the hope of finding some means of livelihood.
As the problem of resettlement was colossal and needed urgent attention, the city planners chalked out a massive plan of constructing resettlement colonies in and around the city. For this purpose, the Local Self Department of Delhi Administration acquired land for construction on a mass scale. The Government got possession of the land wherever they could lay their hands upon, and started construction work on war footing.
The Government sought the help of private builders, like D. L. F. in developing private colonies in different parts of the city. By the year 1980, the map of this city was completely changed, and with the mushrooming of many resettlement colonies, the city roads became congested. With the increase in trade and industry, means of conveyance multiplied geometrically.
The city roads were choked with Tongas, trams rickshaws, cycles, scooters, three-wheelers, cars and buses. During those days Delhi had no traffic signals. With the increase of road accidents traffic signals were installed at different crossings of the city. But the incidents of road accidents did not come down. The Delhi Transport Undertaking, a government-run Corporation was the villain of the piece.
Its drivers were notorious for reckless driving and major accidents. They over-jumped the traffic -signals and never applied brakes at intermediate bus – stops. The commuters were put to maxima harassment and inconvenience, as they had to wait for hour’s together reach their place of work. In the nineties, a plan was made to private the D. T. C. Many Red Line, Green Line and Blue Line buses we introduced on the experimental basis.
The daily commuters, no doubt got some relief, but it brought about a substantial increase in the number of road accidents.
Blue Line Bus service has been instrumental in causing maximum, number of details on city road. This service was introduced to improve the capital’s public transportation system. It is beginning to make even the lethargic DTC look like some kind of a blessing. This is mainly been the Blue Line service has touched new lights in reckless driving, violate of traffic rules and a shocking lack of all sense of civic responsibility.
The buses operating under this scheme have continued to mow down help road users with such single mindedness that would be worthy of much better causes. It has taken a large toll of victims. What is even mc shocking is the attitude of apathy the State Transport Authority and the Union Ministry of Surface and Transport have shown towards murderous enterprise.
Unless it is a part of some scheme to reduce capital’s population, there is little to explain the utter lack of agitation on the part of authorities while the toll of victims being going up almost on a daily basis. Such unconcern has given rise to the belief that the bus operate syndicate has bought the support of some local politicians and concerned officials.
The State Transport Authority, which regulates these killer buses, has so far only proposed to oblige the marauding buses to have sp governors. But it is clear, as daylight over-speeding is not the only of the Blue-Line buses could be faulted with. Ranging from drivers who are hired on a daily wage basis and often lacking adequate driving experience, to the missing of trips at odd timings when the passenger traffic is low, the operation is conducted as a free-for-all business.
The procedures for police and penal action are so convoluted and times consuming that driver even when booked have remained unaffected in the enterprise. All this has been happening right under the nose of the STA and in full knowledge of the Central Ministry, with little improvement.
The only solution to this malady lies in laying down guidelines regarding driving norms and staff behavior with the passengers and introducing regular refresher training courses for the drivers holding driving licenses issued by the other states and having no experience of playing buses in metropolitan city like Delhi.