Daijiworld Media Network – Mangaluru (DV)
Mangaluru, Sep 27: "In the coming days, the drivers and conductors of the private and service buses, plying in the city will be penalized, in case of rash or negligent driving and resulting in the death of pedestrians or innocent individuals because of their negligent driving behavior without adhering to the Motor Vehicle Act. And they will also booked under IPC section 304," said the Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Anupam Agarwal.
He was chairing meeting organsied by the police department in collaboration with City Bus Owners Association and Regional Transport Authority (RTA) officials here at Commissioner's Office here on Wednesday, September 27.
Bus owners should ask their employees (conductors and drivers) to avoid negligent behavior with passengers and, the public and avoid rash driving.
Compol also asked the Regional Transport Officer Ravishankar to end the competition between private buses during their trips and picking people. "The RTA should ration the timings of buses. So, rash and negligent driving and loss of innocent public can be avoided. Because of competition for good cash collection innocent public are losing lives. Within 20 days bus owners' association and RTA should chalkout a concrete plans to stop the problem of rash and negligent driving and make the innocent public as victims of accidents", he siad.
He also said that the bus owners should display board footboards so that the public should not stand on the bus footboard and it will be punishable offense under the Motor Vehicle Act.
The commissioner also added that if the police department appoints home guards to control private buses in free-left areas, the Bus Owners' Association will provide salaries to them on their behalf. He also asked MCC and National Highway officials to identify the proper places for bus bays and bus stands within the city in coordination with the Bus Owners' Association before the next meeting.
The commissioner also added if any public falls from the footboard and becomes a victim of death, the bus conductor, driver, and bus owners shall be made as accused. The Bus Owners' Association should sensitize the public regarding this. If we all work together, we can put an end to such kind of untoward incidents.
In the case of private buses using shrill horns more than prescribed decibels under MVA, in such cases, licenses of drivers and permits of buses will be canceled, he added.
The buses in the city should travel as per the condition of the permit. If any violation is found stringent action will be taken. As many as 937 driving licenses were referred for cancellation. Nearly, 90 driving licenses have been canceled. In the last three years, 771 driving licenses have been canceled. In the coming days, if a violation takes place the number may increase, the commissioner added.
The police Commissioner also said that this meeting was organised to point out anyone but to bring out a concrete solution to the problem. Private buses in the city play a vital role in the transportation of the city along with its development. Private bus service facilities are an integral part of the development of the city.
Aziz Parthipady of the Bus Owners' Association said "For the past month owners of the buses have been in the field. We are directing students not to stand on the footboard. It is gradually changing. Bus Owners also asked drivers not to use the shrill horns and create awareness. And have asked conductors and drivers to act respectfully with senior citizens and students. Bus Owners' Association are immense effort for the behavioral change of conductors and drivers.
However, commissioner commented that it is not effectively implemented.
Dilraj Alva said, "If the RTA rationalization of timings, it will put a break to these problems. Rash driving will gradually come down," he said.
A journalist also complained that the conductors are complaining renewal of the Chalo Card is not possible by giving unnecessary reasons that are not valid.
Traffic cop Gopalakrishna Bhat complained that most of the bus owners do not know about their employees. They are not locals. They are issuing bus tickets properly. As the Labour Act is not applicable for bus conductors and drivers this has led to competition in picking up passengers. Most of the bus owners have given their buses for lease which has increased competition level and rash driving. Though it is clearly mentioned in the permit conditions of a few buses these buses are not supposed to enter the state bank, instead, they should turn from Hampankatte, Kottara and Mallikate, Mangaldevi but they are entering the state bank. As possible as owners should operate their buses, instead of giving them to lease.
Regional Transport Officer Ravishankar said that the undivided district is blessed with a good service of private buses. But, something is wrong here. It is a really painful thing. Everyone should join hands to find a solution to the problem. In MVA there are several sections to penalize in case of violation of rules. Cities like Pune and Hubli-Dharwad have separate lanes for private buses.
Adding to this commissioner asked RTO along with the Bus Owners' Association and Traffic cops to chalk out a permanent solution to end the killing of innocents through accidents.
DCPs Dinesh Kumar, Sidharth Goyal, and others were present.