Launching a major crackdown on rural transport vehicles (RTVs) running without proper documents, Delhi Government’s transport department cancelled permits of 224 RTVs on Thursday.
The action came a day after the driver of an illegally run and speeding RTV lost control and the vehicle toppled over. Three teenagers died and 20 persons were injured in the accident.
According to Delhi transport minister Arvinder Singh Lovely, the over-crowded vehicle was ferrying passengers without permit.
Lovely said the transport department has also served notices to 500 such vehicles, which were not were carrying the requisite papers such as fitness certificate, which are mandatory to ply a vehicle for commercial purposes.
The enforcement department also impounded 25 RTVs.
There are 2614 RTVs plying in the Capital, Lovely said.
“The government has taken a very strict view of Wednesday’s accident and decided to launch a drive against RTVs violating traffic and permit conditions,” he said.
Experts, however, said that not only was the vehicle involved in Wednesday’s accident plying without permit, the dimensions of the vehicle were also changed, making it more vulnerable to accidents.
“The bus body had 18 inches extra height, 12 inches extra width and 20 inches extra length (overhang) in comparison to a manufacturer-built bus,” said S.P.Singh, senior fellow, Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training.
“The carrying capacity of the vehicle was also increased, which shifted the centre of gravity and its aerodynamics. The speedometer of the vehicle was also tampered,” said Singh.
Transport minister Lovely said that the government was also contemplating replacing RTVs with some other vehicle.
With small size and easy manoeuvrability, RTVs are quite popular in congested areas and on narrow roads but these vehicles have also been involved in several fatal accident in the past.
“I have asked officials to look into the possibility of replacing RTVs with other vehicles, which are safer on roads,” said Lovely.
4 kids still in hospital
A day after three students were killed and 20 injured when an overcrowded RTV toppled over due to a punctured rear left wheel, four of the injured continue to recuperate at the Sushruta Trauma Centre at Ring Road.
According to police, Ankit Maheshwari, Vikas, Deepak and Mahesh are among the 20 school children, mainly residents of northeast Delhi, who were injured in the accident that occurred near the Metcalfe House bus stop on Wednesday morning en route to their north and central Delhi schools.
“All the patients are undergoing medical procedures and are likely to be discharged in a day or two,” said a police officer.
Police are, however yet to ascertain the identity of a 19-year-old man who was among the three who lost their lives due to the mishap.
“We are questioning the owner of the minibus and the search for the absconding driver is on,” he added.