There are laws in place, but the implementation is lax and all know the reason: massive corruption that goes on. Life is cheap for the corrupt, so say the cognoscenti
The recent bus tragedy involving the Shirdi- bound passengers from Hyderabad, has raised many questions on the safety and security of passengers. Whenever a road accident takes place, the government makes a cursory motion and announces some financial aid to the victims or their families. The transport authorities will raid some offices and go through the motion of ‘action’ against bus operators and the hullabaloo tapers off. No one will ever know the reasons for such calamities.
There are laws in place, but the implementation is lax and all know the reason: massive corruption that goes on. Life is cheap for the corrupt, so say the cognoscenti.
“Many of the private buses are operated under the patronage of the bigwigs in either bureaucracy or politics or business. They influence the department officials and get the operators off the hook. In most instances drivers are not even well trained or experienced to handle a heavy vehicle like luxury bus. When an accident takes place, the first report is prepared by the RTA officials and then it goes to the police department. Unfortunately, more often than not, RTA reports are doctored to save the private operators. In some cases, even if the facts are presented well, no action is taken by the police or traffic department against the operators and the drivers get away with small fines,” said a retired additional commissioner of police, who wished not to be named.
“All these private buses are operated by the ex-MLAs or business people in the twin cities and that is the main reason they go unchecked and no one questions them. Cases are filed only for namesake to fool the innocent families of the victims. From the last 20-25 years, this has been the case,” said Kishan Reddy, state president, Bharatiya Janata Party.
The passengers are taken for granted and the fact is that nobody really bothers about norms and rules. “The private transport scene is dominated by mafias in the State. The operator get permits to run one bus, but he runs four to five buses on that permit. None of the bus operators has proper record of the passengers. There is no one to control the fare either. Rather, they enjoy the unaccountable money and tax money collected from passengers and does nothing when the bus meets with an accidents,” said Rehmat Ali, a retired bus conductor.
There is no centralised system or control room. They do not have a centralised embarking point. The RTA authorities plead paucity of manpower and finance for their lax vigil.