Admitting that it is yet to finalise a special scheme to rehabilitate Blueline buses,the Delhi government told the High Court on Friday that an expert body has been entrusted the task of conducting studies and suggesting a policy in consonance with the cluster system.
Arguing before a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri,Delhi governments standing counsel Najmi Waziri read out from the affidavit,stating that the task to prepare an apt policy had been given to the Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System Ltd (DIMTS) in July. A reminder in this regard was sent to the body last month,it added.
So far,no policy has been finalised for deployment of the remaining Blueline buses in Delhi. It is noteworthy that the Cluster Scheme has been upheld by the Supreme Court and is being implemented in Delhi. The scheme is of paramount importance for the provision of a reliable and accessible public transport system,under a viable business model. Any new scheme for rehabilitation or deployment of Blueline buses would have to be in consonance with,or at least not to the detriment of,the Cluster Scheme. This would need to be examined in detail by the consultant (DIMTS), the affidavit read.
Responding to an application by Blueline operators,Waziri said that while around 1,045 Blueline buses have already been awarded contract carriage licences,187 have been given no objection certificates for plying in other states. More requests of the kind are being processed as per rules.
On the issue of letting Blueline bus operators bid for the cluster scheme,the counsel said that of the nine bus clusters for which operators have been announced,two were awarded to former Blueline bus operators.
The government will treat the remaining operators on parity as well,if they consider forming cooperative societies or companies or a similar entity,as is envisaged under the Cluster Scheme, said Waziri.
He said it was also not possible to grant inter-state carriage permits to the remaining operators as there was no policy in place regarding this.
As and when such permits are issued,due publicity shall be given according all prospective applicants a fair and equal chance to participate in the exercise, said Waziri.