'Bluelines bad but people have to learn discipline'

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New Delhi, Nov 26: In the wake of an increasing number of deaths on Delhi roads caused by Blueline buses, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit has admitted to the "chaotic" working of the Bluelines in the city but at the same time also stressed on the need for discipline among the public.

Speaking to a television channel last night, the Chief Minister said,''in many of the cases, the Blueline buses are to blame.

Infact, they are wrong more times than one. But there are people who are indisciplined. Sometimes there is a bus going and a motorcycle, three wheeler or a car overtaking from the wrong side.

Also, many time you have a bus going on a road at a speed of, say, 40 or 50 KmPh and somebody comes right in front. People have to learn to be disciplined - learn to walk or drive carefully.'' Speaking on Devil's Advocate on CNN IBN, Ms Dikshit, while reiterating her Government's commitment to phase out the Bluelines from the city's roads, said it could not be done overnight and that the process would take two to two and a half years.

''On our part, we want to get 5000 to 6000 new buses in one year's time. But, we cannot get them because they are just not available. It is not easy to get CNG buses in India. There are not enough manufacturers of CNG buses. But buses are definitely coming by the year 2009-2010,''the Chief Minister said.

Acknowledging the Government's helplessness in bringing the errant Bluelines in line, Ms Dikshit said,''the buses are being regularly checked. We penalized them, send them off the roads and even punished them. But they are apparently incorrigable 25 per cent of the buses have faulty speed governors. Though the fitness of these buses is checked from time to time but by the time they are out of the fitness room, they tamper with them (the buses). It is not possible to look at each of the 4800 buses running on the roads.

Still, we have taken action against them, withdrawing permits of 700 buses. I also stopped blueline buses for half a day to see that they came in line. But, see is thousands of people stranded on the roads pleading that please bring Bluelines back.'' Dismissing charges of inaction leveled against her government, the Chief Minister said the Government had done everything possible to rein in the Bluelines in the past months ''Your life is as precious to us as it is to you. It pains me to see if there is an accident. And, we have taken action. 'Police did take very strong action against a driver a week ago, putting him behind bars under culpable homicide which had them really scared. I have met with their federation at least five times, pleading them that lives are very important for us. Infact, if we had not done anything to curb the problem, you would be having more than the hundred people (who died in Blueline accidents),'' Ms Dikshit said.

She added ''I can assure we are doing everything possible within us and are determined that things will be right in two years.''

UNI

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