Hic! Faulty breathalyser causes ‘high’ drama at KSRTC bus depot in Kothamangalam

It all started around 3.30 am when the team of vigilance inspectors reached the depot to conduct surprise breathalyser tests on drivers.
Representational image
Representational image

KOCHI: Who’s to ‘fault’ when the pot calls the kettle black? ‘High’ drama unfolded at the Kothamangalam KSRTC bus depot on Thursday morning after two vigilance inspectors found many employees in an inebriated condition.

Pushed to a corner but refusing to back down, the road transport company’s staffers insisted that the duo undergo the breathalyser test. And lo and behold, one of the inspectors also tested positive! It was then that it dawned: the device is defective.

It all started around 3.30 am when the team of vigilance inspectors reached the depot to conduct surprise breathalyser tests on drivers.

“The first service from the depot is at 3.50 am. Vigilance inspectors Ravi and Samson went about their job swiftly, subjecting bus crew to the test. Things went smoothly for nearly four hours,” said an official in charge of the depot.

It was then that they tested conductor P V Biju, a crew on the Palakkad service scheduled to depart at 8.05 am. The device showed a reading of 39%. However, Biju protested, saying he hadn’t had even a drop of alcohol. A war of words ensued and Biju’s colleagues stood by him.

Station master Shaju Sebastian arrived at the scene and he too backed Biju. The irate inspectors then urged Shaju to undergo the test. The latter obliged and the machine read 40%. A few more employees also tested positive.

At this point, the unimpressed depot staff demanded that the inspectors subject themselves to the test. One of the inspectors agreed, and to his shock, he too was shown ‘drunk’ by the machine (45%). It was only then that vigilance men realised that the device had been malfunctioning.

“The device functioned normally till around 8am after which it developed a glitch. This was what resulted in the confusion,” one of the officers explained.

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