Wrong parking, overspeeding, the nightmares

Wrong parking, overspeeding,  the nightmares
Many areas in the city have turned accident-prone zones due, primarily, to a large number of private buses violating traffic rules.

Here's a list: Yeshwantpur (near railway station), Jalahalli, Gorguntepalya, Central, Navarang Circle, Tin Factory, Hebbal, KR Puram, Kengeri, Satellite bus station on Mysuru Road, Madiwala, Electronics City, Gandhinagar, Anand Rao Circle, Shanthinagar bus stand, Kalasipalyam, City Market and Malleswaram.

The city traffic police have reported a spike in accidents in these areas, which are also notorious for congestion. Traffic gets particularly clogged between 5 am and 9 am, and from 8 pm to 11 pm every day. Things go out of control during festivals and holidays.

Private operators are permitted to operate buses on contract carriage and stage carriage basis. The passengers have a common destination in a contract carriage, whereas a stage carriage meets the requirements of the general travelling public who pay the fare for the distance they propose to travel.
Explains a senior police official: “Only about 10% of private bus drivers strictly follow permit conditions, while the remaining violate conditions resulting in huge congestion on roads.”

The police list out common complaints against private buses: Wrong parking, stopping buses on roads to pick up passengers, overspeeding, signal-jumping, pick-up point on congested roads, competing with rival operators and government buses, besides overloading.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)’s decision to permit two operators to have their own bus stands on their private lands in Gandhinagar has not gone down well with the police. “How could the BBMP grant permission to construct bus stands without even thinking about the conseqeuces?,” asks R Hithendra, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic).

The two bus stands are next to each other on a small stretch of road near Anand Rao Circle. Over 200 buses originate from these two bus stands, resulting in huge congestion at the circle.

The state transport authorities issue transport permits and licences in contravention of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, say the police. Several contract carriage buses are illegally operating as stage carriage buses. Permit conditions prescribed by the transport department are flexible.

“When we object to drivers picking up passengers on the roads, they claim they have permits to do so. We book buses for various violations and send challans to respective offices of operators,” says Hithendra.

The police, he says, understands the plight of passengers inside such buses. “Why should passengers suffer due to a mistake by one person (driver)? ” Hithendra adds.

According to the rules, the police can act only against overloading of passengers. The Transport Department deals with overloading of goods. The traffic police are of the opinion that BBMP and Transport Department should come out with stringent rules to curb the menace of private bus drivers violating rules.

Six months ago, the Upalokayukta had reported on the disturbing statistics of the violations to the Transport Department. The report said there were around 13,600 private buses, 1,900 contract carriage buses and 2,700 all-India permit buses plying in the city, violating the Motor Vehicles Rules.

The Lokayukta had directed the Transport Department to stop private bus operators from carrying passengers in violation of Motor Vehicle Rules. But there is no action yet on the ground.

Private bus pick-up points, a recipe for chaos


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