Transport dept may ban buses older than 15 yrs

The move comes in the wake of the recent tragedy in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district, where an old bus plunged into a canal, killing 30 people, including children. (DH File Photo)

The Transport authority has written to the government to ban 21,000 buses that are older than 15 years in view of commuters’ safety. 

The move comes in the wake of the recent tragedy in Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district, where an old bus plunged into a canal, killing 30 people, including children.

The Transport department has come under pressure following reports that the bus involved in the Mandya accident was nearly 18 years old and not fit for the road.

Transport Commissioner V P Ikkeri said he recommended the ban a day after the tragedy, following consultation with officials on ways to enhance the safety of commuters.

“We realised that there is higher possibility of accidents involving old buses. I have proposed a ban on buses older than 15 years. The decision has to be taken by the government,” he said.

He said the state road transport corporations like KSRTC and BMTC had set good standards by scrapping vehicles older than 10 years or those that have clocked over one lakh km. “Besides securing the safety of passengers, such standards will help reduce air pollution,” Ikkeri noted.

Sources in the government said the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had recently sent a draft circular seeking responses from state governments on banning commercial vehicles (yellow board) aged 20 years or more with effect from 2020.

Officials are set to hold a meeting with all stakeholders, including vehicle owners, before responding to the Centre’s circular. 

The sources said the Centre’s rule would help the state government. “At present, banning vehicles may not be possible at the state level without amendments to the law. The Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, do not prescribe any age limit for vehicles,” the sources added.

The Transport department is set to write to the road transport authorities (RTAs) at the district level to issue permits to private buses only after a thorough inspection of their fitness.

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Transport dept may ban buses older than 15 yrs

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