Potholes hurt BMTC in many ways

Maintenance cost of its buses has increased; drivers suffer back aches, injuries

Potholes hurt BMTC in many ways

Pothole-ridden roads in the City have been reasons not only for accidents and traffic jams, but also for increased cost of maintenance and complaints of ill-health among drivers of the buses operated by the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).

According to the BMTC officials, fuel efficiency has come down by 0.25 per cent and frequency of breakdowns has increased to 20 per cent more than the average among the buses that ply on the damaged roads. Similarly, tyre performance has decreased by 20 per cent and consumption of spare parts or frequent requirement of replacing spares has gone up by 7.3 per cent.

The worst-hit are the bus bodies with increase in bus body rattling by 30 per cent. All these factors are the deciding factors in the maintenance of individual buses. Consequently, cost of maintenance of the buses that ply on the bad stretches has gone up considerably as compared to those which ply on the slightly better roads.

Among the BMTC buses which run within the City limits, Volvo buses cost Rs 80 lakh each; BS IV buses Rs 30 lakh each; and Marco Polo buses, which are slightly above the BS IV buses, cost anything between Rs 40 lakh- Rs 50 lakh.

The officials said the worst-patch for buses in the northern part of the City is between Magadi Road and Peenya II Stage. A BMTC bus plies on this busy and damaged stretch every two minutes. In the central business district (CBD) the worst stretch is the one between Indiranagar and Ulsoor Road.

“Even drivers of the BMTC buses are suffering from back aches, soft tissue injuries and other health problems. Every month many drivers come with such complaints and seek medical leaves. In fact, even commuters are also facing these health problems,” said C G Anand, chief mechanical officer, BMTC.

All the buses go in for maintenances after completing every 20,000, 40,000 and 60,000 kilometres. But, these days most of the buses have to be taken to the depots much earlier, said another official.

BMTC officials said that due to extremely bad conditions of certain roads, the Corporation was even contemplating either reducing the number of trips on these routes with bad stretches or stop the bus service completely till the roads are repaired.

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