Bus diverts route to avoid Tamil Nadu inspections, ends in accident

Several interstate buses registered in low-tax states have changed routes after Tamil Nadu began enforcing strict rules on permits and halting interstate buses travelling through the state.
Motor vehicle officials inspect the inside of the stricken bus after it is lifted by a crane at Madavana in Kochi on Sunday
Motor vehicle officials inspect the inside of the stricken bus after it is lifted by a crane at Madavana in Kochi on SundayPhoto | A Sanesh, EPS

KOCHI: The interstate private bus that met with the accident on Sunday diverted from its original route passing via Tamil Nadu at the last minute to avoid inspections, and instead took the Mysuru-Kozhikode route, the passengers said.

Motor vehicle officials inspect the inside of the stricken bus after it is lifted by a crane at Madavana in Kochi on Sunday
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Though the bus belonging to Kallada Travels started its journey two hours early — at 7pm on Saturday — from Madiwala in Bengaluru because of the diversion, it was running four hours late at the time of the accident. “The scheduled time of departure from Madiwala was 9pm on Saturday. In the evening, the Kallada staff called us and said the bus would be leaving early,” said Abhinav, a passenger, who was travelling from Bengaluru to his hometown in Kollam with his friend to attend a function.

The bus is registered in Nagaland where taxes are low. A police officer said several interstate buses registered in low-tax states have changed routes after Tamil Nadu began enforcing strict rules on permits and halting interstate buses travelling through the state.

“The norm applied to Kerala-registered buses too. Following discussions between Kerala and TN officials, it was decided to allow Kerala buses to pass through the state. However, in this case, the bus is registered in Nagaland,” the officer said.

The bus was running four hours late, said Abhinav. “We were informed of the diversion and the delay before the journey,” he said.

Reportedly, around 100 private buses operate interstate services from Kerala, including on the busy Kochi-Bengaluru route. Barring a few, all are registered in states with lower tax rates, the police officer said.

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