Enquiry by retired judge concluded he had driven rashly

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation Limited (MTC) has dismissed the driver of the bus which fell off the ramp on Gemini Flyover in June. The officials have accused him of rash and negligent driving.

On the afternoon of June 27, the MTC bus (route 17M) smashed through the concrete railing on the ramp of the flyover and tumbled onto Anna Salai. The public transport vehicle which started from Broadway, got on to the flyover around 1.30 p.m. and was headed towards Vadapalani. While negotiating a sharp curve to the left on the bridge, the vehicle suddenly swerved to the right and broke through the wall and rolled onto the road.

MTC officials present at the scene of the accident said that the driver Prasad was overspeeding as he took the turn and the vehicle was pushed to the right due to the centrifugal force. They said that he should have reduced the speed while turning.

The traffic police seized his license and arrested Prasad and conductor Hemakumar. They were booked under Sections 279 (rash and negligent driving), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).

The MTC too conducted a separate enquiry into the accident and placed Prasad under suspension. “Mr. Rangaraju, a retired judge, conducted the enquiry and concluded that the driver had indulged in rash driving,” said a senior MTC official. Six days ago, the termination order was sent to Prasad by post.

The driver’s version was that the seat moved when he was taking a turn on the ramp and he lost his balance. He said that once the bus hit the railing, he ensured that the speed was under control. However a senior MTC official dismissed these claims. “The retired judged who conducted the enquiry made a comprehensive study of the accident before arriving at a conclusion,” said the official.

K. Natarajan, general secretary of MTC Employees Progressive Union said that they will take up the issue legally. “The police have said the driver’s licence will be returned,” he added.

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