Driver suspended for complaining about poor buses

Driver suspended for complaining about poor buses

Recording a video lamenting about the condition of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) buses cost the job of a driver on Monday.

Vijayakumar, who drives one of the TNSTC buses from Palani to Tiruchirappalli, was suspended after his video, which was critical of the condition of the buses owned by the state government, went viral on the social media.

In the video, Vijayakumar, seated in the driver’s seat, points to the window shutter that is not working, leading to him getting drenched in the rains that lashed through the route.

"There is no shutter and I am completely drenched. How do I drive the bus? What can the drivers do? Most buses don't have a proper brake system, and everything is blamed on the driver," Vijayakumar says in the video, which was shot on October 4.

The driver said that since it rained through the 160-km journey between Palani and Tiruchirappalli, he was completely drenched and uncomfortable.

The suspension order of Vijayakumar said the action was being taken against him since the offence committed by him is "serious".

TNSTC buses are badly maintained and many are more than 15 to 20 years old. The corporation has debts to the tune of Rs 16,000 crore and almost every asset, from depots to buses, has been mortgaged to various banks in Tamil Nadu.

Though transport workers have flagged issues such as ageing buses that put passengers at danger, it had only fallen to the deaf ears of the TNSTC management.