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Fitness scam involving Blueline buses unearthed

Sujay Mehdudia

`None of the Delhi Transport Corporation buses are fitted with speed governors'


  • Out of the total of 250 buses and a large number of local transport trucks tested at the Burari site, a majority of them had removed their speed governors
  • Transport Minister has issued instructions that no vehicle that fails to comply with the prescribed norms be allowed to ply on city roads

    NEW DELHI: Making a mockery of the umpteen awareness drives and crackdowns against violators from time to time, the Delhi Government's Transport Department has unearthed a scam involving Blueline buses and local transportation trucks where unscrupulous drivers in connivance with corrupt officials had not only removed their mandatory "speed governors'' but also failed the overall annual fitness test.

    Interestingly, while trying to make others fall in line, the Government itself has failed to set standards for safe running of vehicles as none of the Delhi Transport Corporation buses are fitted with speed governors. This despite court directions to install speed governors in all local transport vehicles operating commercially, especially those involved in ferrying of passengers and goods.

    According to sources in the Delhi Government, during the recent annual fitness tests at the newly installed automatic inspection lane at Burari, the officials much to their disbelief found the Blueline buses that were being put to speed test were running at speeds between 60 kmph to 100 kmph in gross violation of the norms. When these vehicles were put on the dynamometer test, these vehicles failed to perform according to the speed norms and major violations were found in their fitness levels. Out of the total of 250 buses and a large number of local transport trucks tested at the Burari site till recently, a majority of them had removed their speed governors and were running in violation of the law prescribed for their plying on road.

    Sources said it was found that in order to fool the Transport Department officials and the traffic police, there vehicles had installed a "local box'' resembling the speed governor and installed two small bulbs on it that flashed indicating that the speed governor was in action. Whenever inspection was carried out manually, these so-called speed governors were passed off as actual instruments after bribing the local staff at Burari facility or the traffic police personnel. "In the actual speed governors that have a computer microprocessor, the speed governor is connected to the engine of the vehicle. Whenever the driver of the bus goes beyond the prescribed 40 kmph speed, the RPM installed controls the engine and does not allow acceleration beyond the fixed speed. Such a facility has no impact on the pick-up of the vehicle,'' a senior official remarked.

    The inspection also unearthed that most of the Blueline buses and trucks had removed their emergency brakes posing a great threat to the lives of the passengers. "This not only exposes the deep-rooted corruption in the Transport Department, especially at Burari, but also indicates what kind of unfit vehicles are ferrying lakhs of passengers everyday posing grave danger to their lives. This has to be stopped or the Government might have another major tragedy in the offing,'' a senior official remarked.

    The new automatic facility at Burari has been set up at a cost of Rs. 3 crores to evaluate the annual performance of the vehicles.

    Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf said he had taken a serious note of the bungling at the Burari facility and had issued instructions to all concerned that no vehicle that fails to comply with the prescribed norms be allowed to ply on city roads.

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