| The ill-fated bus stranded at Shastri Nagar on Thursday. It turned turtle near DAV School. Picture by Deepak Kumar |
A city bus carrying passengers to Patna Junction turned turtle near DAV School in Shastri Nagar around 10am on Thursday.
At present, the city buses are more a curse than a boon for regular commuters, as drivers take haphazard routes, overspeed to make more trips, leading to accidents. An officer at Shastri Nagar police station said a boy (14), has succumbed to his injuries at a private hospital on Thursday evening.
“The bus (BR-19P-3277) was packed to the full strength and was said to be overspeeding. It had taken the Baba Chowk-Patna Junction route. The driver lost control and the vehicle turned turtle. Over a dozen passengers suffered injuries and they have been sent to Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH). The bus had more than 30 passengers out of which seven to eight were teenagers. The bus was speeding and the driver couldn’t control the vehicle at a turn near the school. A teenager, who is a resident of Patel Nagar, had died in a private hospital. The driver managed to flee after the incident,” the officer said.
On August 6, a city ride bus (JH I7D 0192) on route number-6 (Mithapur bus stand to Rajendra Nagar) had turned turtle after the driver lost control of the vehicle because it had exceeded the speed limit. The incident had occurred near Karbighaiya end of Patna Junction on the flyover under the jurisdiction of Jakkanpur police station. At least four passengers were injured, who were rushed to the PMCH. The driver fled after the incident.
“There have been several mishaps involving the city bus. In April, a city ride bus turned turtle near Patna High Court. At least five people suffered injuries. Another bus had crushed a St Xavier’s High School student to death in 2011. In May 2011, a mob had burnt a city bus after the driver lost control and rammed into a furniture shop at Tribhuvan Park under the jurisdiction of Danapur police station. Most of the buses are old and the drivers, in a bid to make more trips, drive rashly causing accidents,” a police officer said. Out of the 375 buses being run under the Mini Bus Seva in different routes, around 100 are older than 15 years, sources said.
In July, the state transport department had decided to stop the operation of most diesel-operated public transport vehicles, which were more than 15 years old. The decision was taken in the light of an order issued by Supreme Court in 1998, banning the plying of commercial vehicles and cars more than 15 years old.
Residents said mere banning of old buses would not solve the problem.
“Have the police seen how drivers of these buses drive? Strict action should have been taken by now. These buses drive without caring about any commuter on the road. They brush against the two and four wheelers and don’t care to stop. They keep honking and abusing the commuters to clear the roads for them. We haven’t seen any policeman trying to stop a speeding city bus and taking action. Neither the police or the administration cares,” Awdhesh Kumar, a daily commuter said.
The police, however, talked about fines being imposed on rash driving. “Action is being taken. We take action by spotting a speeding bus and imposing fine,” deputy superintendent of police (traffic)-1, Rajvansh Singh said.