Karnataka HC cracks down on rickety transport corporation buses in state

Buses that have been driven for over 10 lakh kilometres need to be scrapped while other buses need periodic inspection.

File photo of a KSRTC bus getting washed. (ANI)

The Karnataka High Court has ordered for the scrapping of old state transport buses that have done over 10 lakh kilometres. The order has been issued in the larger interest of passenger safety and the safety of other road users – both motorists as well as pedestrians.

The condition of many of the buses used by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) is in a shambolic state and have problems galore. The HC order itself comes after a petition filed by a KSRTC driver who was charged for culpable homicide after the bus he was driving ran over two children. This particular bus had covered more than 10 lakh kilometres.

Noting that such buses are extremely risky for road users, the Karnataka HC issued six directions on maintaining KSRTC buses including framing of rules to scrap old vehicles. “In this case, the said offending bus had already run more than 10,00,000 km and the vehicle was not having ignition starter, horn and brakes. The passengers, who were travelling in the said bus were compelled to push the said bus to get it started. The condition of the bus which is brought on record is quite alarming,”the HC said.

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Justice Ramachandra D Huddar further directed that buses deployed by KSRTC have to be scrapped after a certain number of kilometres have been covered and that none of these buses ought to be permitted for entry anywhere in the state – cities or villages. Some of the other guidelines issues include mechanical department of KSRTC regularly inspecting buses and certifying them as ‘fit for road’ in case no problem is found. KSRTC must also seek a certificate from the relevant RTO for ageing buses and only after this should these be permitted for road deployment.

The Karnataka HC may have flagged the condition of many of the ageing buses in the KSRTC fleet but it also upheld the conviction of the driver – Satish – who had run over his bus over two children in Ankola on KC Road. Satish was found to be negligent and was sentenced to six months imprisonment.

First Published Date: 28 Dec 2023, 12:25 PM IST

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