TENKASI: Superintendent of Police (SP), Tenkasi R Krishnaraj joined the chorus of the road users against the speeding 'one-to-one' buses of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), plying between Tenkasi and Tirunelveli.
In his letter to Collector S Gopala Sundararaj and Managing Director of TNSTC, Tirunelveli S Rajeswaran, the SP said that these 'one-to-one' buses are causing several accidents on the Tenkasi - Tirunelveli highway. "We come to know that if such accidents are taking place repeatedly, there is a possibility of public protest by waylaying these buses," Krishnaraj added. The SP said he was informed that the bus drivers were being given a target time for their trips between Tenkasi and Tirunelveli which led to the speedy and careless driving.
He mentioned the ongoing widening project already left the Tenkasi - Tirunelveli highway damaged and narrowed. Speaking to the TNIE, activist Pandiarajan said that at least three fatal accidents take place each month on this highway. "The Pavoorchatram - Maranthai stretch of this highway which has several schools and colleges is highly vulnerable. The 'one-to-one' buses contribute more to the total accidents in this stretch. I petitioned thrice the district administration, police, transport and highway departments in this connection. These 'one-to-one' buses should be run as normal ones till the road widening project is completed," he added.
Pandiarajan also demanded that vehicles should follow speed restriction rules at vulnerable places of this highway. Speaking to TNIE, a driver of a 'one-to-one' bus said that they are tasked to drive the buses between Tenkasi and Tirunelveli within one-and-an-half hour. "We have to pass the damaged roads and traffic congestion in the city limits within the given time. A driver is assigned five trips per day," he added.
When contacted by TNIE, Rajeswaran agreed that some target time is set by his administration for the 'one-to-one' buses. "However, we are against rash driving. I will look into the SP's letter," he added. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporations' Workers Federation's General Secretary R Radhakrishnan said the reason for the accidents was damaged roads. "The drivers are driving the buses fast when it is possible. They cannot be blamed for all the highway accidents," he said.