Log shows bus on mishap road

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Even as accusations are flying thick and fast between MTC employees and the transport authorities regarding the Gemini flyover mishap, Deccan Chronicle has documents to substantiate that the bus had a history of being involved in several accidents, including brake failure.

DC had carried the statement of driver Prasad that the accident was due to the seat giving way while he attempted to negotiate the turn on the flyover.

As per the copy of the log sheet accessed by DC, the bus (VP I615) had met with accidents several times, reportedly due to technical faults.

On May 3, 2011, around 7.55 am, the bus (log sheet number 143339) hit an electricity pole, reportedly due to brake failure, near T. Nagar that falls under the Pondy bazaar traffic investigation jurisdiction. The case was amicably settled after the driver paid compensation to EB.

Complaining about malfunctioning of the brake (log sheet 297718), the driver, on June 4, 2011, had ‘refused’ to board the bus.

On August 12, 2011, the vehicle had hit (log sheet 542374) an autorickshaw and injured its driver, after the bus driver lost control.

Citing these incidents, a section of employees said the flyover mishap was due to poor maintenance and criticised the authorities for making the staff a scapegoat.

MTC bus route No 17M met with a bizarre accident on June 27, 2012, when it toppled from the flyover. There were murmurs among the employees when the bus was taken to Alandur depot and kept there for several hours before the RTO authorities inspected it.

Depot branch manager suspended for negligence

Transport minister Senthil Balaji inspected the Tondiarpet depot on Tuesday and instructed the authorities to suspend the depot manager for negligence.

This newspaper had carried a report with a picture about an MTC bus running amok at Kodambakkam and hitting two cars and another MTC bus last week.

“The branch manager of the depot was placed under suspension on Tuesday,” sources in the corporation told this newspaper.

This has come after one of the depot’s buses (37 D) plying from Vadapalani to Tollgate had hit two cars, including one parked on the pavement and another MTC bus, on June 6 reportedly due to brake failure. This was one among several accidents that MTC buses had met with in the past one-month.

The employees of the depot had pointed out the poor treatment meted out to the MTC crew by officials. “Despite the fact that the time chart had been revised several years ago, the branch manager and the general manager (Tondiarpet) were only worried about fuel efficiency and completion of trips on time.

They failed to show the same kind of vitality when it came to inspecting the maintenance depots on a regular basis and ensuring that the buses were maintained,” complained a driver of the depot.

Though the government has taken initiatives to improve the fleet strength, it should take steps to recruit technical staff and bus crew without delay, they demanded.

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