Kovai commuters wary of govt buses

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Coimbatore division drew flak recently after a video showed passengers drenched inside a due to a leaking roof.

Published: 08th November 2021 10:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2021 10:35 AM   |  A+A-

Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation

Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

COIMBATORE: Commuting by bus in Coimbatore may not be a safe experience for passengers as many vehicles have leaky roofs.

The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) Coimbatore division drew flak recently after a video showed passengers drenched inside a due to a leaking roof. Though the roof was fixed, passengers remain wary of boarding a bus during rains.

Not just roof, electrical faults keep passengers on the edge. Recently, a bus (TN38 3215) developed a fault in the battery which forced passengers to push the vehicle so that it can start. Likewise, more than 25 passengers travelling in a bus on route number 5 operated between Sivanathacolony to Sivanatha colony were forced to take another bus after one of the tyres was deemed unfit for further travel.

A total of 675 town buses including the ones that ply in Karumathapatti, Pollachi, Sirumugai and Annur apart from 350 mofussil buses are in operation in the district. Recently, an elderly man commuting to Thanjavur from Singnallur was injured after a first aid box in the TNSTC bus fell on him. Despite a petition sent to the officials concerned, the petitioner has yet to receive any compensation.

Though the State government has introduced deluxe buses, a large number of semi-floor buses (SLF) are still in operation in Coimbatore posing risks to the passengers as the windows are in a dilapidated condition.

Coimbatore Consumer Cause Secretary K Kathirmathiyon charged that the TNSTC administration was indifferent to the Motor Vehicle Act.

"If the concerned Regional Transport Officers (RTO) check these TNSTC buses plying on the road, they can impound 60 to 70 buses that are ineligible for a fitness certificate. We could not spot even a single private bus similar to the government bus. This shows that RTO's are bending the norms of the Motor Vehicle Acts to the department’s whims and has resulted in an overall bitter experience," he said.

Kathirmathiyon added TNSTC officials even failed to place reflective stickers on the vehicle — red sticker on the rear, white sticker on the front side and yellow stickers on sides — which is one of the road safety rules. He claimed none of the buses was complying with the rules and that the RTO was just a silent spectator.

Coimbatore Consumer Voice secretary N Logu told TNIE that TNSTC should replace the old buses with new ones to ensure a safe journey. He noted the buses should be operated for the welfare of the people and not for profits.

"Pollution levels are not checked properly and several buses continue to emit smoke. Collector GS Sameeran should order the RTO to check the condition of the TNSTC buses and stop those that are unfit for operation since some buses have been operated way past their time period," said Logu.

When contacted, a senior TNSTC official from the technical division said some of the buses have developed faults as they were not operated during the pandemic. "We accept that some 20 buses have developed faults like battery issues and tyre faults. We will rectify them soon," the official assured.



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