Commuters suffer as private buses go off the roads

Last Updated: Mon, Sep 27, 2010 16:10 hrs

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) The Delhi government Monday shunted out around 1,600 private Blueline buses ahead of the Commonwealth Games, causing immense hardship to thousands of commuters, including students and office-goers, who had to wait for hours to get into packed state-run buses or pay exorbitant fares to autorickshaws.

The Bluelines buses are being kept off the roads during the Oct 3-14 Commonwealth Games, leaving just the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses for the people.

Over 1,600 Blueline buses ply on 132 routes. They were pushed off the roads from Sunday till oct 16 to ease traffic congestion on Delhi roads. The routes on which the buses were taken off pass through central Delhi and near Games venues.

Daily commuters were in a fix as Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses were jam-packed. To add to the commuters's woes, the frequency of the DTC buses was also low.

The DTC plies 5,800 buses, including air-conditioned ones.

'I stood for more than an hour, but could not get into any of the jam-packed DTC buses. Though Bluelines were crowded, their frequency was better. And autorickshaws were charging more,' said Nikita Mishra, a resident of Nirman Vihar in east Delhi.

For Gautam Singh, a resident of Okhla with his office in Lodhi Road, the story was no better. 'Without the private buses, it is really difficult to commute because now the bus services are limited.'

Ayesha Nihar, a domestic help working in Chittaranjan Park, also felt the pinch. 'Bluelines bus tickets were cheaper compared to DTC AC buses in which the minimum charge is Rs.10. It is heavier on the pocket for working classes like me. Moreover we have to wait for at least half-an-hour to 45 minutes for the DTC buses. I am really worried that I will have to suffer this for some more days,' she added.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has prohibited the plying of buses or other vehicles of paramilitary forces on the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium road.

The Delhi Traffic Police has issued an advisory on the movement of vehicles around the stadium.

This will affect traffic around CGO Complex, Electronic Niketan, Soochna Bhawan, Scope Building, MTNL, Pragati Vihar and Lodhi Colony Type-V residential complex.

'In view of traffic restrictions, officials are requested to use car pools, Metro trains and public transport to avoid congestion in the area,' Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police Traffic, said.

The road restrictions will come into effect from Tuesday morning.

According to Delhi traffic police helpline, traffic snarls will be more in areas like Sarai Kale khan, the DND flyover from Noida, Mathura Road and Ashram intersection.

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