Staff Reporter

MADURAI: Thousands of government bus travellers, who faced the ordeal of vehicles speeding away without halting at permitted bus stops, can now heave a sigh relief as the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has embarked on an experimentation to alleviate their woes.

A Division Bench comprising Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla and Justice K. Veeraraghavan has directed the Madurai and Kumbakonam divisions of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation to display the names and phone numbers of the officials concerned, who could be contacted to lodge complaints, both inside and outside the buses.

The interim orders were passed on a public interest litigation petition filed by a practising lawyer here.

The Bench also recorded the undertaking given by the Managing Directors of both the divisions that necessary steps would be taken on the issue and adjourned the matter by four weeks to monitor the progress made by the Corporation.

Earlier, during arguments, Mr. Justice Kalifulla said, "It is very important for the buses to stop at permitted stops, especially in villages."

Recalling an incident that took place on February 26 when a few villagers at Thuvarankurichi near Tiruchi assaulted a bus driver and conductor for refusing to stop the vehicle in the village, he said, "If you (TNSTC officials) do not take lawful action, then the public tend to indulge in unlawful actions. It is better to have absolute control over your drivers and conductors. Let us see how are you going do that."

The petitioner, N. Palaniyandi, claimed that most of the buses operated by these two divisions did not halt at many stops.