Bengaluru

‘BMTC officials ignore complaints about problems with buses’

A bus rammed into eight vehicles at Kottigepalya Junction on Monday. Two people were killed and several sustained injuries.

A bus rammed into eight vehicles at Kottigepalya Junction on Monday. Two people were killed and several sustained injuries.   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

This allegation was made by drivers

The BMTC and the police are yet to ascertain whether brake failure or error on the part of the driver led a bus ramming into eight vehicles at Kottigepalya Junction on Monday. Two people were killed and several sustained injuries.

In his complaint to the police, the driver, Venkatesh, alleged that his complaints about problems with the bus had been ignored.

BMTC officials claim that all complaints are addressed promptly, but several drivers allege otherwise. They told The Hindu that at the depot level there have been many instances of officials in-charge ignoring their complaints mentioned in the defect report.

A BMTC driver, who did not want to be named, said that some officers ignore their requests to get the bus repaired or serviced. "Many times, they downplay our requests even if they are genuine. It might also depend on the depot," he said.

Another driver claimed that a few officials differentiated between buses. "If it is an old bus, then there is reluctance. If it is a Vayu Vajra, there is a different response by the authorities.”

The police and BMTC officials have not ruled out the possibility that Venkatesh may have lost control of the bus while negotiating the down ramp at Kottigepalya Junction. “We are working under immense stress. Traffic in the city is growing at an alarming rate. Every few metres, we have to apply the brakes due to slow-moving traffic," said a driver.

Many drivers pointed out that in cities like Bengaluru, the brake and gear systems should be repeatedly tested as they get damaged easily.

Another driver said that a few officials do not understand the practical problems of bus repairs. "Mechanics should also be made responsible for mishaps, which happens due to technical faults," said a driver, and added that products and equipment used for repairs were not up to the mark.

In her response to the issues raised by bus crew, BMTC MD C. Shikha said that a mechanism is in place to address problems raised by drivers. “The parts required are supplied by the manufacturer, and no poor quality parts are used. I have instructed the chief mechanical engineer (maintenance) to take corrective measures, if required, for maintenance of buses.”

When asked about plans to remove old buses from the fleet, the official said, “In one year, we are going to remove 1,300 old buses from the fleet. We have already started inducting new buses. On Tuesday, the CM launched a few new buses.”

By the end of March, the Corporation is likely to add 357 new buses and a few electric buses.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 4:41:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/bmtc-officials-ignore-complaints-about-problems-with-buses/article30506660.ece

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