While the Delhi government is quick to showcase its fleet of modern buses, there is a lot that remains to be desired when it comes to making the city bus service more comfortable and usable. Delhi’s bus commuters feel both furious and helpless when faced with misbehaviour from the drivers and conductors of these buses.
Buses in Delhi are operated under two government agencies, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) Ltd.
Daily commuters would vouch for the fact that drivers and conductors of these buses follow their own will with utter disregard for all rules and regulations.
According to a Millennium Post survey, bus employees break rules especially after 9 pm or when it is raining, secure in the knowledge that there won’t be anyone keeping a tab on them. Ramsharan Pal who takes a bus daily while returning home from office says, ‘Every day at approximately 9.30 pm, I wait at the Govindpuri bus stop for the bus operating in route number 429ST.
On most occasions the drivers do not stop the bus at the stand as they are aware that there is no one to check on them at that time.’
The Millennium Post survey conducted across the city showed that there is hardly any DTC or DIMTS team on the roads after 9 pm.
‘My office is in Inderpuri and I take the bus plying on route 47 at approximately 10.15 pm to return home. I have noticed that most conductors of cluster buses do not give tickets, saying that the battery in their ticket machine is dead,’ said Renuka Vyas an employee in a private company, adding, ‘Some conductors are so brazen in their conduct that when commuters insist on being given tickets they tell them to shut up and sit or get down at the next stop,’
When questioned, one conductor of a cluster bus said on condition of anonymity, ‘Our salary is so low, we have no option but to earn through such illegal means. We spend far more time on duty than DTC conductors, yet earn so little.’ Not only drivers and conductors, the Millennium Post survey has revealed that even the vigilance staff of DTC buses are making money on the side.
If a ticket checker finds a commuter without a ticket he is supposed to charge Rs 200 from him and issue him a receipt of payment. But in many cases these people let the defaulters go for a payment of Rs 50 or Rs 100 for which no receipt is given.
The Delhi government may have succeeded in introducing global
quality buses but the conduct of the field staff is nothing much to write home about.