Express spoke to BMTC MD Anjum Parvez about accidents involving their buses and the steps taken to prevent such tragedies.
What are the reasons for accidents?
Accidents happen mainly due to two reasons - negligence of drivers and mechanical breakdown. We have been conducting orientation programmes for drivers and it has helped a lot. But we still need to go a long way. Apart from this, we have initiated ‘Saarathi’ mobile squad which brings in discipline among drivers and conductors. The squad is authorised to issue memos and impose fine on the spot for any violations of rules.
How do you deal with repeat offenders?
We have maintained track records of all drivers. We also counsel the drivers. When it does not work, we warn them and issue memos. Despite all these initiatives, if some drivers don’t fall in line, we don’t hesitate to terminate their services.
The drivers claim they are under stress and are exploited. How would you address this issue?
We have recruited 250 drivers this year and have recently issued notification for recruiting another 900 drivers and an equal number of conductors. Next year, 2,000 drivers and conductors will be added. This will ensure that the burden on drivers and conductors who are doing double shifts will be taken off.
What about the daily trips and schedule? Don’t you think a serious look is required?
Yes. We need to take a relook at it. Modifications are required in the system while allotting trips to drivers.