Student hanging on footboard of an RTC bus
Student hanging on footboard of an RTC bus

Khammam/Warangal : After the major and worst-ever bus accident at Kondagattu on Tuesday in which 57 people lost their life, the commuters in the erstwhile Khammam and Warangal districts are worried about their safety after coming to know that most of the buses run TSRTC are not fit.

As per the Transport department rules, the maintenance of buses must be done once a week and wheel alignment once in three months. Buses are required to get a road maintenance certificate every six months and fitness certificate once a year. 

Despite these comprehensive rules, many ‘unfit’ RTC buses continue to ferry passengers in the both the districts, with weekly and quarterly maintenance hardly making a difference. As per the existing rules, a bus over 10 years old and ran 12 lakh km, should be discarded.

Nampalli Raju, a private bus owner of Hanamkonda said, generally the average life of buses is six to seven lakh kilometres or 10 years. The buses which exceed this level are diverted to rural areas violating the rules and used as Palle Velugu buses posing serious threat to lives of hundreds of passengers.

Moreover, the site of travelers hanging on footboards and sitting on the top of buses has become a common affair at many places in the district, he added.

Madipalli Venu, resident of Mammilagudem of Khammam city said, “RTC bus operators carry passengers more than the permissible limit and thus pose risk to the hundreds of daily travelers. Apart from overcrowded buses, over speeding is another major issue because of which a lot of people have lost their lives in the recent past,” he added.

It is learnt that many buses of the TSRTC which are not fit to run are being operated, violating the rules, compromising the safety of passengers and at the same time posing a serious threat to the environment. Around 30 per cent of the RTC buses in both the districts have completed their life span of 10 years and around 25 per cent are under the span of 6-7 years.

However, RTC officials claim that only 10 per cent of the buses, which have covered 10 lakh kilometres, are being operated. They added that these buses are still fit to operate.

The RTC drivers are expressing concern that they are become victims due to the negligence of the middle-level management or the higher officials who ignore their demands or problems.

They alleged that the condition of buses is very bad. It is becoming difficult for them to run them on narrow and ghat roads as the buses have difects. Even after lodging complaint about the poor condition of buses there got no response from the higher officials, they said.

A depot manager on condition of anonymity said that there is a worst mechanism on allotment of buses. Some officers adopt biased attitude in allotting the buses to the drivers. They said some drivers get very good buses every time whereas others get buses which are in bad condition. 

Meanwhile, people demand the government to take measures in allocating enough funds in the budget TSRTC for the purchase of new buses and solve the problems of people who mainly depend on bus service.

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