Although the State Transport Authority may have laid down numerous guidelines that bus owners have to follow, implementing these are a problem.
The Transport Department has only 260 inspectors posts to implement rules. While this number in itself may be low, 147 of these posts are vacant. Of these 60 inspectors operate in Bangalore. But considering that they have various other tasks to take care of, the STA has brought in 20 inspectors from other places in the state, forming 10 squads to enforce guidelines.
These 20 inspectors have to check over 30,000 buses that operate from the city to various other states- including 24,000 KSRTC buses, 9000 stage contract buses and 2,053 contract carriage or tourist buses.
K Amar Narayan, Commissioner for Transport and Road Safety, termed the shortage as ‘severe’. “Because of this shortage, we cannot hold regular checks on violations. We can only conduct surprise checks,” he said, soon after the Mahbubnagar accident. He noted that the allocation of 260 posts of inspectors was made at least 20 years ago.
“We had a meeting with the Principal Secretary to the Transport Department with regard to filling the posts. Unless the posts are filled, we cannot check vehicles regularly for violations of permit and other clauses under the Central Motor Vehicles Act,” he said.