Even when I was not a resident of Delhi, I had been hearing about the mess that “Blueline” buses- private transport operators appointed by Delhi’s state government- create on roads of Delhi.
Key attributes that explain “Blueline” buses: a) The coloured strip on the exterior of the buses is actually ‘green’ in colour. May have changed post conversion of the buses to CNG fuel.
b) Unhygienic interiors. Dirty seats with no seat or torn seat covers. c) Limited support bars for passengers. This coupled with the breaking style of driver is a torture worse than 3rd degree torture that a criminal may face in jail. d) Halts at all traffic signals in the city. This is peculiar to them. Whether the signal is ‘green’ or not for them the passenger is supreme. If he says ‘Stop’, driver wilfully obliges. Bus stops do exist but it seems they are meant to be used discreetly, as if stopping at them will wake somebody from a deep sleep. e) As a passenger you need not worry to walk upto a designated bus stop. Just reach side of the road side and raise a hand on seeing a Blueline bus. They will ensure that they stop just next to you.
Today, when I read in newspapers that all Blueline drivers had approached the Delhi government pleading to take back its decision of not extending the permits to their employers, I am appreciative of the boldness on part of government. As Delhites we are far better off with less no of buses than made to travel on Blueline buses.