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Curbs on sleeper buses

Tightening the noose on buses that violate passenger safety guidelines by illegally adding sleeper bunks, state transport commissioner Manoj Kumar has asked the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and motor vehicle inspectors to not renew their licences and fitness certificates.

At a meeting in the state capital on Tuesday, Kumar said a strict vigil ought to be carried out against these so-called double-decker buses that raise their height arbitrarily to make room for the extra sleeper seats, inviting accidents. Passengers seated on the roof run the risk of getting electrocuted by overhead wires just as it had happened in the fatal mishap involving five kanwariyas in Bihar’s Banka district on August 3.

Motor vehicle inspector of Bokaro-Dhanbad Shyam Kishore Yadav said: “The transport commissioner expressed displeasure that such sleeper buses were also plying in Jharkhand. He asked the RTA secretaries to be very cautious from now on and not to issue fitness certificates to any vehicle without cross-checking the seat capacity and safety measures.”

District transport officer, Bokaro, Jaideep Tigga said an official direction to crack down on these buses would arrive in a day or two.

Bokaro deputy commissioner Uma Shankar Singh welcomed the move, saying that all officials concerned had been directed to keep a tab on illegal sleeper buses that have little regard for road rules and passenger safety.