It seems that no lessons have been learnt from a heart-wrenching bus accident which took place less than a year ago in Telangana's Jagtial district, as Regional Transport Authorities (RTA) on Wednesday seized a state-run RTC bus for overloading in Kodimyala of Jagtial district.
The bus with a seating capacity of 55, was carrying 125 passengers including 40 children.
In September 2018, Telangana witnessed one of the most horrific road accidents, when an overloaded RTC bus carrying more than 100 passengers tumbled down a ghat road, claiming 60 lives.
On Wednesday morning at around 8.30 am, during an enforcement drive, RTA officials led by District Transport Officer Kishan Rao seized the Palle Velugu bus (district bus) at Kodimial which was overcrowded. With hardly any space in the bus, students were found precariously perched on the footboard. The bus was travelling from Korutla to Karimnagar.
The RTA officials levied a spot fine on the RTC, and when the driver didn’t furnish the documents pertaining to the bus, they seized the vehicle and sent it to a local police station.
Speaking to media, Kishan Rao said, “It is very unfortunate; the bus had many college-going students and senior citizens, who could have suffered suffocation due to the overcrowding.”
“If any untoward incident had occurred, the death toll would have increased. So wherever there is a requirement, the RTC should run additional bus service.”
Slamming the RTC, he added, “Kodimial is just 5-6 kms away from Kondagattu, but still so many accidents are occurring. There is no change in the RTC’s behaviour. ”
Buses in Jagtial are often overcrowded due to less bus services provided in the region. As a result, the residents mostly rely on autos and other private vehicles.
Speaking to TNM, Kodimial Depot Manager Appa Rao said, “Yesterday, unfortunately, there were no private vehicles available. The bus was empty for most of the journey, but many college students going to Kodimial boarded the bus just two stops before, which led to overloading. Taking note of the incident, we have decided to run another bus trip,” he said.