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LG pulls up Delhi transport department for inefficiency

LG pulls up Delhi transport department for inefficiency
With the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old exposing chinks in the public transport system, Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna has directed Delhi government to take a series of steps like installing CCTVs and GPS devices onboard all public buses at the earliest.

Khanna has also asked the government to issue public service badges in the form of photo identity card to drivers of all types of public utility vehicles including government and private buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws and radio taxis after proper verification and clearance by police.

‘Copies of such badges need to be pasted in front of windscreen of the vehicles as well as in the passenger seating area,’ the Lt Governor said in a letter to transport commissioner Rajendra Kumar, copies of which have been sent to chief secretary D M Spolia and police commissioner Neeraj Kumar.

Seeking details of permits issued by the transport department to private bus operators, Khanna asked to make it mandatory for all private buses engaged in ferrying office goers and school children to engrave their permitted routes clearly in front and back of the vehicles.

The Lt Governor specifically asked transport department to install electronic passenger information systems in all existing bus shelters across the city. The government had announced the project almost three years ago but has not been able to implement it so far.

Critical of transport department’s functioning, Khanna in a meeting told the transport commissioner to particularly to ensure accountability of the private buses by ensuring stringent enforcement of the permit norms, sources said.

The brutal gang-rape of the girl in a chartered bus, which was illegally plying, has brought to focus the failure of the government in keeping its long-pending promise of safe public transport system for women and children.

The city government had made a series of announcements in last three years to regulate the transport system by a slew of steps like mandatory installation of GPS on autorickshaws, taxis and DTC buses as also tougher norms for plying of school buses and erecting electronic information boards on all bus stops but none of them has been implemented so far.

The transport department had decided to erect electronic information board in over 1,000 designated bus stops to give a real time details about arrival of the buses but this decision never saw the light of the day.

While hiking taxi and auto fares by 35 per cent in 2010, the government had made it mandatory for auto drivers to install GPS in their vehicles to monitor their movement. The government had added a component in the hiked fare to help the autorickshaw owners install the device but till today around 55,000 autorickshaws are plying in the city without GPS.

Since December 2010, Delhi government had terminated permit of nearly 3,000 blueline buses following public outcry over series of fatal incidents involving them. But some operators are plying the buses unauthorisedly across the city after painting them white.

To augment public transport, the government had launched the ambitious cluster bus service last year involving corporate entities and had promised to take the size of fleet to over 2,000 by 2012 but so far around 300 vehicles are plying under the scheme.

Last year, the government had planned to install CCTVs onboard all DTC buses but nothing has happened so far in this regard as well.
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