Mandya, December 31, 2013: Following Saturday’s accident in which five persons were killed and 56 were injured after a private bus veered off a bridge and fell into a canal, near Sathanur village, Regional Transport Office (RTO) officials on Sunday conducted a drive to check the condition of private buses.
The RTO has issued permits to around 330 private buses in the district and according to officials, at least 80 per cent of the buses are violating motor vehicle rules.
While the majority of the buses are being operated by untrained drivers, bus operators have also neglected to take measures to ensure safety of commuters.
The district administration had instructed private bus operators to bring their vehicles to the District Armed Reserve (DAR) ground where the drive was held.
However, only 35 buses were part of the drive.
Defective steering, damaged tyres and body, and absence of reflectors, tail lamps and indicators were some of the problems found in the buses.
“We checked the mechanical and physical conditions of 35 private buses. Either minor or major defects were found in almost all vehicles. We have issued notices to owners of 20 buses,” K. Anwar Pasha, District Regional Transport Officer (RTO), told The Hindu on Sunday.
Major defects, including problems with steering, were found in 10 buses.
The RTO has cancelled the fitness certificates of those vehicles. The RTO has also found mechanical and physical problems in 20 other vehicles, Mr. Pasha said.
‘Fix the problems’
The bus owners were instructed to take steps to fix the problems and reproduce the vehicles within 10 days. “They should not operate the vehicles without fixing these problems and obtaining permission from the RTO,” the officer said.
According to a police officer, many vehicles are violating the motor vehicle rules. He said that bus owners hired persons who hadn’t had any training in driving buses.
The drivers transported inflammable materials, LPG cylinders and sheep in buses. They also fixed extra seats in the buses, he claimed.
Deputy Commissioner B.N. Krishnaiah and Superintendent of Police Bhushan Gulabrao Borase initiated the drive.
Mr. Krishnaiah also directed private bus owners to ply their vehicles only on routes for which they had the permit.