If at all a person does not get a confirmed train ticket; the intercity bus services both publicly run and private, becomes a reliable mode of transportation. After making a few halts at bus stands, the high-end aero-dynamic buses especially run by private operators’ zip through the highways, overnight to the destination city.
However, the speed monsters have caught the eye of the state Transport department who are planning to catch hold of these buses whose drivers breach the speed limits.
The background of carrying out this drive against these speeding buses came up during the late-night drive conducted on the night of February 5-6, to identify fitness of buses, their documents, roadworthiness; among other things. Sources said that the private bus operators have top model buses with them and during night hours these buses run at high speeds because the drivers have to complete the trip sooner and then pick-up passengers for the next trip back.
“These private buses run at high speeds on highways. This is a major problem, as speed becomes a big reason for road accidents. The issue amplifies especially when a bus doesn’t have the necessary documents, is unfit to ply or has deficiencies in the vehicle itself,” said a Transport department official.
As per rules, the private buses are fitted with speed governors to control the speed of these buses at 80 kmph. However, sources in the RTOs claim that there have been cases where these speed governors are manipulated and its wires are compromised to allow the buses to ply at higher speeds.
The bus operators claim that these drives conducted by the Transport department are unwarranted as the majority of them have complied with the rules. Moreover, the government has extended many aspects of a bus and its documentation keeping lockdown in mind.
“If a bus has been illegally running with a tampered speed governor then action should be taken. But the previously undertaken drive against us bus operators was wrong,” said a member of Mumbai Bus Malak Sanghatana.
On the weekend of February 5-6, the RTOs caught 969 buses without valid permits to ply across Maharashtra of which there were 73 cases in Mumbai alone, 136 cases in Thane district and 120 cases in Panvel. Sources said that the major worry apart from these is that 965 buses across the state didn’t have proper reflectors, indicators, tail-lights, vipers and other essential parts needed for safe-running of buses especially during night. Of these, there were 179 cases only in Mumbai and its metropolitan region. In this drive, the RTOs detained 213 buses and inspected over 3,000 buses.