August 14: Anutosh and Madhumita Majumdar, residents of Baguiati, die under the wheels of a schoolbus on the EM Bypass. The parents of a 10-month-old girl were on their way to work.
August 16: Prerna Parasrampuria is trapped between two racing buses and run over by one. The 18-year-old was on her way to school.
August 20: A speeding bus overturns on VIP Road in the evening, injuring 12 passengers and a taxi driver.
August 22: Sudip Kumar Yadav is crushed under the wheels of a speeding bus while getting off a bus at PNB crossing in Salt Lake. The 12-year-old was on his way to school.
Buses are spilling blood on city streets like never before. With police refusing to do their job of spotting and stopping these killer wheels, Metro visits a few calamity crossroads…
What we saw: Rogue bus raj. The ones hitting Esplanade from SN Banerjee Road were in the greatest rush. Most buses on this route terminate in Howrah. As a result, they race to pick up passengers from Esplanade. Stopping in the middle of the road, overtaking from left and right, cutting into the path of competition — anything goes.
The road parallel to BC Roy Market is no better. The mouth of this road is narrow, causing buses coming in from Central Avenue to race to get in first. Pedestrians and other smaller vehicles be damned.
Rash wheels: WBU-1776 (minibus, B. Garden to Dharamtala)/ WGA-3015 (route 30C, Hatiara to Babughat).
Publicspeak: “Esplanade is such a busy area, with so many arterial roads. Despite a large police presence, nothing is done to stop these killer buses,” rues a daily passenger awaiting a Howrah-bound bus.
Birla Planetarium-Tata Centre crossing
What we saw: The buses tend to accelerate here, while also desperately seeking passengers. The CSTC buses are among the worst offenders, not stopping at the designated stops and forcing commuters to run after them, adding to the chaos.
Rash wheels: WB-04 C-2716/ WB-25/A-2911
Publicspeak: “The cops merely look on while the buses go wild. We used to go for an evening walk to Victoria earlier, but now we are too scared to cross this stretch,” shudders Sanjay Agarwal, 68, a resident of Shakespeare Sarani.
Ultadanga-VIP Road intersection
What we saw: This is a serious contender for the chaotic crossroads crown. The main menace is from the buses approaching the crossing from the Kankurgachhi end. They race each other, swerve as close to the waiting commuters as possible and stop-speed-stop with impunity.
Rash wheels: WNP-6066/ WB-02-8178
Publicspeak: “How so few lives are lost here is a mystery. It’s a death trap because of the buses but the police are least bothered,” says Malini Banerjee, a resident of Kestopur.
What we saw: The authorities have divided the road and created a bus bay. But no bus uses the bay, which is a convenient parking lane for cars, Matadors, van-rickshaws and bicycles. The bus race to get to the VIP Road crossing begins here. No traffic cop in sight.
Rash wheels: WB-19A-3887
Publicspeak: “The traffic has increased in the area because a mall, shops and restaurants have come up. It is also a residential area. But you will not find a single traffic sergeant here,” complains Neelam Jhawar, a resident of CIT Road.
(Which crossroads do you fear because of rash buses' Tell [email protected])