NEW DELHI: Students have always known it. Now even the DTC is acknowledging that there are a woefully small number of buses for Delhi University students. In a reply to an RTI filed by a student, the DTC has claimed it has only 22 buses plying for over 2 lakh students in the campus. Interestingly, the schedules are not even worked out in consultation with the university. And while there are rules for conductors and drivers, including keeping a complaint register, students say nothing like that exists in reality.
The RTI reply, which was originally filed by Rohit Nair, a member of the DU Task Force, a group of students, lists 22 buses plying on the DU North Campus route. Several buses on routes dedicated to colleges like Aurobindo, Bharti Mahila, Mata Sundari, Delhi College Engineeringand Zakir Hussain besides others also form part of the U-special fleet.
The most interesting part though is that DTC claims none of the routes have been worked out in consultation with the university authorities. The reply states: "There has been no consultation with the Delhi University in respect to timings, routes, numbers of buses etc. The U-special routes (are) provided as per demands of students". How these demands of students are worked out has been kept in the dark, with DTC's only reply being: in consultation with students.
Timings are also left to the discretion of the DTC, with the RTI reply claiming there are no specific records, but "all buses reach the destination between 0850 to 0900 hours". So what if classes start from 0830 hours in most colleges, DTC obviously feels the schedule is close enough.
The reply goes on to state that the bus conductors and drivers are not only supposed to be in uniform but also have to keep a complaint register. Moreover, action is apparently taken on the complaint filed in the register.
Not surprisingly, students are crying foul over the answers. Said Tanya, a student of Miranda House, "The U-specials are a joke. There's no crowd control and one trip per route is totally inadequate for the student population." Others agree. Said Deep, a student of Ramjas college, "Even if you belivee that the buses reach by 9 am — which they never do — what's the point when classes have already started?"
Students claim that with the growing population of students, there's an urgent need for more buses on the fleet. But is DTC listening?