One-member Transport Department Committee to submit report to the Transport Commissioner
Reckless driving, poor safety measures and bad road geometry are among the several factors that led to the ghastly Volvo bus mishap at Palem in Mahabubnagar district where 45 passengers were charred to death, a one-man committee of the Transport Department has observed.
The committee of Joint Transport Commissioner (IT, Enforcement and Road safety) S.A.V. Prasada Rao in his report to be submitted to the State government has also pointed out that the bus operator had illegally accommodated 50 adult passengers and a child against the permitted number of 43 plus a driver and a cleaner.
Although, accommodating more passengers cannot be a prime reason behind the incident, seven precious lives could have been saved had the operator restricted the commuters to 43. The report stated that the driver was maintaining an average speed of 80 kmph against the permitted 65 kmph. The bus also lacked a mandatory second driver though two drivers is a must for any journey exceeding more than six hours.
No safety measures
The bus also lacked fire extinguishers, public addressing system and there was also no proper passenger emergency exit mechanism, Mr. Rao in his report has said. Road geometry was another major factor behind the accident. The committee has pointed out that the culvert wall at Palem was protruding out of the road carriageway and it was not designed as per the road alignment norms.
The committee, which took the assistance of road safety wing in the department in ascertaining the facts, will be formally submitting its report to the Transport Commissioner G. Anantha Ramu on Monday.