Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses have turned “killer” registering around 258 accidents in 2018. These accidents killed 50 people, 46 accidents were life-threatening and 28 accidents led to large-scale damage whereas 184 were minor accidents. According to reports, lack of adequate funds has caused recruitment of lesser skilled drivers and poor maintenance of buses. It is an indication that BMTC is broke.
Number Of Deaths Due To BMTC Buses Doubled In 2018
A senior BMTC official stated, ”This is in reference to the damage caused to human life and also the irreparable damage caused to the bus when referring to large-scale damage.”
Reports indicate that in just one year 133 buses were damaged severely causing injuries to 219 people. Importantly, the number of people who died in 2018 has doubled from the people who died in 2017. Last year around 29 people died in 132 BMTC bus accidents.
When two teenage boys died on December 20, it attracted a lot of wrath from the local public. It once again opened up the dysfunctional system on which the BMTC operates and puts the passengers and regular commuters on the road at risk. The BMTC bus running on the Mysuru Road hit two boys, Chandrakanta (16) and Yadu Kumar SY (15).
These two boys were the students of BBMP Kasturba PU College, KB Nagar which is located on Mysuru Road. The two boys were just trying to cross the road near the KSRTC satellite bus stand and were hit as the brakes of the bus failed at the same instant. The logbook of BMTC indicates that the bus driver had already notified the concerned authorities about the problem.
Even then, BMTC asked the driver to continue using the same bus and drive slowly without replacing the brakes. It ultimately caused the death of two teenage boys which is an evidence of ignorance and negligence from BMTC and is nothing short of a criminal offense.
BMTC Has No Money For Maintenance
At present, BMTC operates on a budget of Rs.100 crore for the 2018-2019 fiscal which the sources believe is not enough to cover up the outstanding amounts of retired employees’ gratuity. Also, more than 40% of the buses of BMTC have traveled 4 to 6 lakh kilometers and need lots of repairing and replacement with spare parts. Since the budgetary allocation is very low, BMTC is finding it difficult to buy spare parts and maintain its buses.
The member of the BMTC drivers’ union- All India Trade Union Congress, Nagaraj said,
“If all the buses have to be in top-notch condition, then the BMTC needs Rs 3,000 crore to fix the mess it is in. The maintenance of buses does not happen properly. Brakes and steering wheels are in such horrible conditions that it becomes dangerous to drive the buses. The driver who was in the BMTC bus on December 20 had 8 years of experience. But the failure was on BMTC’s behalf.”
Lack Of Certified Trainers
In its reply, the BMTC officials stated that the agency has very few certified trainers who monitor the training of drivers and coach them. The officials further added that ideally the trainers with certifications from the Ballari or Tamil Nadu institutes are only recruited for coaching the drivers. Also, the drivers must have adequate certificates and experience if they have to be appointed as trainers.
However, at present, so many trainers in BMTC do not have the much-required certification with drivers having only 2 years of experience being recruited as trainers. According to the Managing Director of BMTC, NV Prasad, the agency is finding it difficult to hire certified trainers. He further added that they are appointing experienced drivers as trainers and conducting weekly maintenance work.
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