New Delhi, Oct 15 (UNI) The Delhi Government today warned of strict action against Blueline bus operators if they persisted in keeping their vehicles off the roads in protest against the ongoing drive against them.
Talking to reporters here, Delhi Transport Minister Haroon Yousuf said the government would not hesitate in taking strict action against the truant Bluelines' operators and would, if necessary, consider imposing the Esssential Services Maintenance Act.
He said stringent action would be taken against the operators trying to blackmail the government and exploit the situation, Mr Yusuf said.
Of the over 3000 Blueline buses, close to 1,000 bluelines buses stayed off the roads today.
Though buses operating in the NCR region and other CNG DTC buses were diverted to the city routes, severe inconvenience was caused to the public with commuters in several areas of East Delhi and West Delhi having to wait for long hours to get buses to their offices.
Of the few buses on the roads, a majority were overcrowded.
Earlier, taking to reporters, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, ''We have said time and again that strict action will be taken against any move by bus operators to inconvenience the common man.'' Speaking after a cabinet meeting at the Delhi secretariat, the Chief Minister expressed hope that the ongoing crisis would soon be resolved with the Cabinet today deciding to procure 4500 buses so as to achieve the target of 6000 DTC buses by March 31, 2009.
''We have all along been asking bus operators to adhere to the requisite norms like driving in their respective lanes, running buses on the prescribed routes and displaying their licenses and permits prominently. I wish to reiterate that, ''Ms Dikshit said.
Blueline buses today stayed away from the roads in protest against the ongoing drive by the police and the Delhi Government against them ever since last Sunday's horrific accident wherein a Blueline bus ran over 17 bystanders near Badarpur, killing eight and injuring nine others.
Shyam Lal Gola of the Delhi Bus Ekta Manch said the blueline bus drivers were refusing to ply the buses alleging that they were wrongly booked.
They allege that they are being challaned because of the fault of some drivers, Mr Gola said.