Pune: An alarming rise in the number of accidents involving state transport buses has woken up the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) officials from their slumber.
The city witnessed 22 fatal accidents last year which increased to 31 this year, in which 33 people lost their lives. A total of 173 bus mishaps were recorded in 2013–2014.
The major reasons of the accidents as stated in the reports are carelessness by the drivers, collision of other vehicles and loss of control.
Divisional controller of MSRTC, Pune region, S S Chavan said, “Accidents because of the mistake of others are unavoidable, but we are trying our best to train our drivers to ensure accidents do not take place because of their carelessness or fault. We are working towards minimal accidents in the future.”
The MSRTC has started a training programme for its drivers. Medical check-ups and counselling of drivers are few other steps taken by the transport body. “If a driver meets with an accident, we suspend him first. If proven guilty, we may also terminate his services. If not guilty, they are trained again before resuming the duty. Now with the increasing number of accidents, we shall take these programmes more seriously,” said traffic inspector Deepak Nagarkar.
He said that the MSRTC buses involved in accidents are put on roads only after complete repairing and testing. Therefore, there are rare chances of accidents taking place due to faulty working of the bus parts or engine.
Assistant workshop superintendent Yuvraj Kadam said, “We have daily bus maintenance, speed locking systems installed and docking after every three months to avoid accidents due to malfunctioning of any spares. A bus runs for not more than 700 km a day and is scrapped out after traveling 9 lakh km. The bus quality has improved compared to the previous years and there are negligible chances of accidents due to any problem in the bus.”
The loss of control, speed and drivers’ mistakes have accounted for 31 fatal, 122 major and 22 minor accidents in a year. If MSRTC authorities do not take necessary steps and implement their training programmes seriously, the numbers might just increase.