Road transport authorities conducted a surprise inspection at Periyar Shopping Complex bus stand here on Monday and collected a total fine of Rs.13,500 from 13 omni buses for various violations.

Authorities said they inspected 54 buses between 7.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m. “We conducted the inspection as a safety precaution. The buses that were slapped with a fine had emergency exits but had no proper indications or had minor operational glitches in opening them,” said K. Kalyanakumar, Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Madurai North.

As per norms, all omni buses should have emergency exits either on the right side or at the rear, and should have hammers to break open the exits in case of emergency.

“In some buses we found that the emergency exits were sealed. We have instructed the omni bus operators to open the emergency exits on periodic intervals, check their functioning and ensure that the hinges are in good condition,” Mr. Kalyanakumar added. Following Monday’s inspection, the authorities, including J.K. Baskaran, RTO, Madurai Central, and M. Singaravelu, RTO, Madurai South, instructed the omni bus operators to explain the methods to open the emergency exits to the passengers before the start of each journey.

The authorities also said a majority of the operators would shift their offices to the omni bus terminus at Mattuthavani, which started functioning on Saturday, within 20 days.

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