KOCHI: Even a week after the High Court ordered an amendment to the State Motor Vehicles Rules to affix front and rear doors in private buses, the majority of them are yet to implement it.While private bus owners seek more time to implement the order, the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) said staff shortage is stopping it from enforcing the order.
According to the MVD officials, there is a dearth of hands and the only way they can implement the order is during the regular fitness check-ups. However, the public is up in arms against the absence of doors. “The lack of doors in buses endanger the life of passengers, especially during rush hours. Many such incidents happen regularly and the recent one involved a student who was thrown off the bus,” says Siji Mathew, a passenger.
Such accidents have prompted passengers to demand pneumatic doors rather than manual ones. “Even if there is a manual door, they are either tied to the body of the bus or removed for the convenience of bus operators,” said a passenger.
But, pneumatic doors aren’t very practical, say bus employees.“They are expensive and require heavy maintenance. As we have to stop frequently, doors have to be opened frequently. If an automatic door is opened and shut frequently, it will soon become defunct and turn a financial burden,’’ says Jomon Philip, a bus employee. But, making doors compulsory can be a bane too. “This can cause accidents as most two-wheelers overtake through the left side and are likely to be hit by the doors,” says an office bearer of the bus owners association.