It was a “freak accident” that thankfully did not end in tragedy in Bengaluru. A video accessed by TV9 Kannada shows a state-run bus in Bengaluru coming to a screeching halt at Peenya after its right front wheel detaches from the vehicle. The video shows the wheel of the bus rolling across the road, as the vehicle grinds to a halt. Shocked passersby gather in front of the BMTC bus, as the driver and passengers quickly exit the vehicle. No one was injured in the accident.
The incident occurred at TVS Cross at around 9:15 am on August 26. Deccan Herald reported that the Parisara Vahini bus was in service for more than nine years. There were reportedly 25 passengers on board when the bus left Peenya depot for the Majestic Bus Stand (Route No 252).
And while Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) are calling it a “freak incident”, the accident is suspected to be a lapse in regular maintenance work by staff.
V Ponnuraj, Managing Director of BMTC told Deccan Herald that action will be taken against errant officials.
“We have a regimental system of maintenance and this is a freak incident. However, we are looking into the human error of overlooking regular maintenance protocols and will initiate action against the errant maintenance staff,” he said.
While pointing out that such incidents happen rarely chief mechanical engineer at BMTC Ganganna Gowda BC admitted to DH that the accident could have been disastrous had the road been more crowded.
“It happens very rarely, but even then, we suspect there is human error and negligence in regular maintenance work. It is a serious issue as it could have been disastrous had the road been crowded,” Ganganna Gowda said.
This incident, however, is not an isolated one, reserved for old BMTC buses.
In June, a BMTC bus rammed into a tree on Nrupatunga Road in a suspected case of mechanical failure. While police officers on ground praised the driver for “averting a disaster”, BMTC officials denied any fault in the bus.
A report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India found that BMTC's fleet strength has increased by an insignificant margin.
This means that buses operate even after running the maximum of 8.5 lakh kilometres. This also costs the exchequer as maintenance bills outweigh procurement cost after this stipulated mileage, the CAG report said.