The traffic police are seeing red over the inability of RTC in curbing the bus breakdowns on the already chocked city roads. The latest figures released by the traffic police show that maximum number of bus breakdowns in 2011 has occurred in areas that have heaviest traffic.

Compared to 2010, the bus breakdowns have more than doubled in 2011 in areas such as Mahankali, Begumpet, Punjagutta, Banjara Hills, Saifabad, Abids and Sultan Bazar. Interestingly, while there were no breakdowns in Jubilee Hills and Nallakunta areas in 2010, they saw 40 and 26 breakdowns respectively during 2011.

“Each time a bus breaks down in a narrow lane, it takes not less than two hours to clear the traffic jam. And when a bus breaks down on a major road during peak traffic hours, the ensuing traffic logjam and chaos can only be imagined,” a senior police official said.

So why do buses breakdown? “A bus usually breaks down due to failure in its transmission system. Due to frequent changing of gears and use of clutch and breaks, the wear and tear in these areas is greater in buses that ply amidst busy traffic,” a RTC official explained. Engine failures are rare in buses, he said.However, constant efforts are being made to curb breakdowns. Besides, educating drivers on the need to follow proper procedures, we are also encouraging mechanics to keep a periodic check on transmission system related problems, the official said. “Due to our efforts the number of bus breakdowns has come down during the first three months of this year,” he claimed.

The statistics released by traffic police through a light on few more aspects. The number of accidents involving RTC buses has also gone up to 293 in 2011 leaving 88 people dead and 240 injured. The numbers also show that major brunt of these accidents are borne by two-wheelers and pedestrians followed by RTC bus passengers, three-wheelers and four-wheelers.

The total number of challans, both E-Challans and M.V. Act cases, went up to about 9,500 in 2011 against about 7,000 cases booked in 2010. “We are taking up a special drive to sensitise bus drivers about the importance of following traffic rules, next week,” Addl. CP (Traffic) C.V. Anand said.