The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) buses were involved in over 2,600 accidents over a period of four years, and the compensation paid to victims’ families over the same time period was ₹ 151.90 crore.
According to data obtained by means of the RTI Act of 2005 by former RTC Board Director M Nageshwar Rao, from financial year 2017-18 to 2020-21, TSRTC buses were involved in a total of 2,674 accidents. The number of accidents declined during the lockdown period when buses remained off the roads.
For instance, in 2017-18, TSRTC buses were involved in as many as 729 accidents. In the subsequent year the number number rose to 772, followed by 730. In 2020-21, the number dropped to 443.
According to the RTI response, the “total number of deaths of roads users/passengers/other vehicle users” by TSRTC buses from 2017 to 2021 stood at 1,230 deaths. Of these, as many as 183 were of passengers. Meanwhile, another 283 pedestrians lost their lives. Another 1,230 using other vehicles were killed.
While the transport juggernaut coughed up over ₹ 150 core in compensations, it was only in March this year that they introduced a Safety Cess of ₹ 1 per passenger. Funds derived from this cess would be used to pay compensations.
Meanwhile, former RTC Board Director Mr Rao raised concerns over budgetary allocations not being released in full. He said that while a budgetary allocation of ₹ 1,500 crore was made, ₹ 1,317 were released. “The remaining ₹ 183 crore should be released. These funds can be used to pay Dearness Allowance to TSRTC staff and workers. I demand and request that this be done immediately. The Special Chief Secretary, Finance, and Transport Commissioner are directors of the RTC Board, the onus lies on them to get the balance of ₹ 183 crore released,” he said.