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The monster on the road!

Ashwini H S, Nov 20, 2012

The BMTC bus drivers have long since made a name for themselves for all the wrong reasons.

During the peak hours, on narrow roads, they drive rashly and overtake one
another — sometimes, jeopardising the lives of other people on the road.

This scenario probably sounds too familiar to most Bangaloreans. Metrolife speaks to some people who experience this, every time they go on the road.

“The BMTC buses overtaking each other and jeopardising others’ lives is a common phenomenon in Bangalore. I have had many such experiences. Once, on a rainy day, I was riding on the left side — I saw a BMTC bus coming behind me in the
mirror and so, I changed my track to the right side. But the BMTC bus too changed
its track. It kept zigzagging between the sides, until I was pushed to the divider. It was really scary; there should be some system behind their driving. Nobody’s life is cheap!” says Vishwanath, a student.

Many feel the BMTC should open a grievances department and display its number on every bus. Sadiya, a teacher, says, “Just yesterday, I was riding my bike in R T Nagar. A bus veered close to me at a signal and as it took a right turn, it broke the signal. If a
two-wheeler jumps a signal, it creates a nuisance — imagine a vehicle that is ten times bigger committing the same mistake. I think every BMTC bus should have the photo identity of the driver stuck behind it. They should also open a grievance department and display its phone number on every bus.”

Shwetha, a chartered accountant, feels that the solution to this problem would be a separate bay for bus stops. She says, “I ride both two and four-wheelers and
experience difficulties with BMTC buses everyday — especially at the bus stops. They overtake each other and block the already congested roads. A separate bay should be constructed for the bus stops, like the one at Bangalore Central on Residency Road. This will bring in some order on the roads.”

Bus drivers have a different story to tell, though. Gururaj Kumar, a BMTC bus driver, says, “We are compelled to overtake each other and drive rashly. Every day, we have to cover 125 kilometres in eight hours — in Bangalore’s traffic. Every time we don’t reach this target, a memo is served to us and then, Rs 150 is deducted from the paltry salary we
receive.”

C Nagaraj, chief traffic manager, BMTC, however, denies the allegations made
by the BMTC bus drivers. He says, “All we expect from a bus driver is to complete
80-90 kilometres. It is not true that we deduct their salaries. In fact, every time
we notice a bus driver driving rashly, we call them to the department and warn them. We also monitor them and if we observe that the driver has not changed his way of driving, we put him in training again.”


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