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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

KSRTC: Single driver scheme results in an accident

In December 2008, we had put a post about untrained drivers driving KSRTC Volvos - READ. Recently, the same transport undertaking's Volvo met with an accident, which could have been a deadly one. Why - KSRTC decided to run its B7R Airavat on the Hyderabad - Bangalore route with just one driver one board.
We believe due to fatigue, the driver couldn't pay attention on the road ahead. Here is Mr Sanram's account - a passenger on the same bus

Hi all,
I have escaped a near fatal incident yesterday night, which could have been easily avoided.

Details: KSRTC volvo Airavat from hyderbad to bangalore, start:20.00hrs from JBS.
Single driver. Around 3am, we were woken up by two forceful jolts. The confused passengers could smell diesel, and heard words, "get down" and "diesel leak". And while getting down, we saw diesel flowing under our feet. By the time everyone got down, the tank was empty, and bus was in a pool of diesel.

Reasons: The driver didn't take the necessary diversion, and went above the big boulders on the blocked road. Not sure if there was any road divert sign board. within the 40 min desperate wait for reaching help from KSRTC depot, we saw all other buses,cars correctly taking the diversion. It is said that the driver was new to this route. One small spark while braking would have been sufficient to burn us all with the 200litres odd capacity of the fuel tank.
Finally we had stopped a passing by Rajahamsa bus, which happened to be empty enough to accomodate us all.

Since we had an escape, this incident might not be reported anywhere, but we the passengers know that we had such a close encounter, and just feel lucky for being alive.
1.So isnt it the KSRTC's resposnibilty to properly train/guide about the route?
2. Had there been co-driver, there are much chances of spotting the whole road blocked with big boulders, in case one of them just didnt notice due to any reasons.

Why not follow all safety rules, instead of condemning, inquiring, and giving compensation after the such fatal incidents happen?

KSRTC has often been priased for its customer service and buses. But events like these don't really go well with their reputation.

1. KSRTC to buy ten B9R buses
2. New Mercedes multi-axle bus caught on test
3. KSRTC's route map for B7R buses


sayed said...

remeber few years back when bus fall near bagalkot in a tank and all 55 people died...
mangalore to udupi new vajra volvo nearly drive like they r born to kill...
i got a incident when travelled from mangalore to belgaum in volvo it fell in a pit in sirsi and all had to travell in a ordinary bus.
this is usual in karnataka. where BJP rules and no one care for people all govt employee thing they r boss.

Anonymous said...

Either over burden or less usage of manpower, this happens everywhere. In KSRTC,staffs use some terms. In that they say Bangalore-Mysore, Bangalore-Trichy, Bangalore-Mangalore "Punishing routes". Because mysore has got plenty of buses from Majestic only on early morning 5-7 am alone it gets full in the midday or evening conductors have to keep on calling for "Mysore! Mysore!" and quarelling with Rajahmasa, Sheetal types of buses.
Bangalore-trichy, Bangalore-Chennai (corona sleeper) are very boring route; they finish total journey in 5 to 6 hours and have a wholeday left to rest (The new drivers for Airavat or first used in this route only)
Last but not the least the Bangalore-Mangalore route via WORLD FAMOUSE Shirali Ghats. I knew many would have known this route which makes the Airavat 10 hours to complete the 350 kms Journey.
So the Bangalore-Hyderabad, Bangalore-Ernakulam, Bangalore-Madurai, Bangalore-Belgaum the 400-500 Kms trip can be easily done by a single volvo driver.

SS said...

Hey ,

Its sad but this was just an accident!!So how can you blame Volvo or KSRTC for this . Probably this driver must have dozed off or maybe he was driving rash!!

Yeah ,I would agree to some extent on having a second driver to share the drive .

But I somehow cant digest your logic of having a "co-driver" so that the boulders could have been spotted !!!..How do you expect the co-driver to stay awake the whole night along with the driver !!

. said...

anonymous: HYD-BLR is 530-540km or a journey of 10-11 hours from start to end point. Have you ever driven a Volvo bus - hope then you understand the strains involved in driving from night to morning.
SS : I have taken numerous buses on tons of occasions on the Mum-BLR route. There are three main staff members in the bus. two drivers, one cleaner/conductor. While on driver drives, other sleeps. The conductor in the mean time remains awake n is aware of the happenings ahead. Even in the case of KSRTC on these routes, the cleaner/conductor is aware - had the KSRTC bus on the HYD-BLR been there, he might have seen n informed the same to the driver.

Anonymous said...

Who says KSRTC has single drivers? KSRTC was one of the first operators to recruit drivers-cum-conductors. The Bangalore-Mysore, Bangalore-Coimbatore, Bangalore-Shimoga, Bangalore-Davangere' were the buses make a Up and Down schedule has got a driver and a driver-cum-conductor. WELL... THIS IS QUITE COMMON IN NWKRTC & NEKRTC BUSES. But What is really wrong with Airavat Drivers, they are the best in the business and the KSRTC Management is what we all have to blame!

Anonymous said...

Hi Everybody! Take a look at this news published in "The Hindu"

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am the one who posted the complaint. Its not the blame game.
I knew how lucky I am to survive.
ANd I don't know whether I would be able to do a bus travel anytime.

Accidents do happen, but my point is atleast when the driver is new to this route, why not have a co-driver? In the one hour we spent on road, we saw almost 100 other vehicles passing by taking the right diversion. We have seen them later, whole width of the road was blocked with big rocks. Should be clearly visible.So there was a mistake on driver side.making mistakes is human, but this would have costed many lives.

Now coming to the management, we were trying to reach the emergency number, the depot's land line and mobile number(driver had them).No one picked up for even one hour!! we had to try to stop every passing by bus, needless to say, the chances of a speeding bus to stop is very less. finally we came back in a rajahamsa, needless to say about the facilities, and speed. We reached around 11am to majestic.

I dont have anything against volvo bus. In my opinion its good.