Thursday, July 12, 2018

Students overloaded buses in Islands; matter of grave concern

TMI Correspondent
Port Blair, July 11: The department of traffic police officials and state transport authority office may have claimed their concern for traffic rules and travel safety norms but when it comes to practice of overloading the buses with school students, it seems they are least concerned.
Stuffed in the buses like birds in a poultry farm, some school students are also foisted to stand in the window and are generally seen hanging half in the air.
The warning issued by the STS to heavy trucks, medium goods vehicles to refrain from overload, and recent warning to the two wheeler drivers and the pillion riders to wear helmets, but it has failed to take note of the buses that double up its capacity, especially private buses in the morning and afternoon as students are literally packed like sardines.
The traffic police, soon after the Supreme Court's mandatory direction for the pillion riders to wear helmets, have now swung into action to enforce wearing of helmets by the pillion riders too in the islands, busily.
However, the 'bullet buses' in our islands, starts the day with race to beat one another; drivers try to overtake one another for that extra buck which put the common man's lives in danger especially in the wake of poor roads, narrow lanes and school timings.
"A simple counselling for these errant drivers could be handy to calm their nerves, said an old man standing at a road side by watching a fully packed bus passes through in a lightning speed. Another passer by suggest that surprise raids should be made on the running buses, the passengers should enforce the drivers not to exceed the speed limit and the conductor not permit beyond capacity."
In contrast, it has also been observed that the public or govt buses even in the peak hours ply their buses empty or without passengers, since their job is to finish regular given sorties of the department.
Efforts to solicit comments from the Director (STA) and Dy.SP (Traffic) on the issue over their respective official phones were unattended.
The danger is looming large if caution is not exercised, especially in bad road condition coupled with ever increasing traffic may jeopardise the precious lives.

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