HYDERABAD: In a shocking revelation, preliminary inquiry into the accident has found that driver Srinivas, as per the advise of his depot manager, chose to take the ghat roads instead of the regular by-pass road to save fuel and time. Considering the Tuesday rush, the driver was looking to generate more revenue by increasing frequency of trips.
While initial reports and Transport Minister P Mahender Reddy suspected the accident could have occurred due to a brake failure, RTC officials ruled out that possibility. Preliminary inquiry by Director General of road safety T Krishna Prasad found that though driver Srinivas had about 25 years of experience, and recently received the best driver award, he was relatively new to the particular route.
The inquiry also found that Jagtial Depot Manager M Hanumantha Rao had directed Srinivas to take the ghat road. The manger has now been suspended until a detailed inquiry is conducted. However, many questions still remain on what exactly led to the accident: was it the unfamiliar route; was it failure of brakes; or, was it the inappropriate speed breaker and lack of road markers? An entire brigade of TSRTC officials are now probing for the cause.
The worst accident in its history and facts emerging from initial inquiry have put the TSRTC in a dock over its standard operating procedures and maintenance of its fleet. Palle Vellugu inter-district buses, according to sources in the department, have been a major reason for losses being incurred by the Corporation. Was the accident a result of cost-cutting measures? Only a complete probe can tell.