State-run buses have been identified as the most unsafe in the country with the latest (2011-12) report by the ministry of road transport and highways putting Maharashtra on the top of the maximum number of accidents list.
The statistics show that on an average, more than one person get killed every day in an accident involving the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses.
The performance review report of all State Transport Undertakings (STU) shows that there were 20,783 accidents involving the 38 STU buses in 2011-12, out of which 4,750 were fatal. The report states that with 3,437 accidents, MSRTC was on the top in the list with the highest number of accidents during 2011-12. The state-run undertaking has been topping this list since 2009-10. With 2,437 and 1,707 accidents, Andhra Pradesh Road State Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and Chennai Metro Transport Corporation (MRTC) stood second and third respectively.
In the last 4 years, MSRTC buses have recorded over 3,000 accidents annually with 10 % of these leading to some fatality. However, government officials said that the number of accidents last year was 3,038 which, they say, is the lowest figure in the last 4 years.
Top MSRTC officials have blamed overworked drivers due to staff shortage, road stress, rapid growth of small vehicles and lack of traffic discipline among motorists for the high number of bus accidents. Officials have also pointed a finger at the state’s bad roads for this. Deepak Kapoor, vice chairman and managing director of MSRTC admitted that their accident rate of 0.17 lakh per kilometer is quite high but said the authorities were consistently making efforts to reduce this. He added that the MSRTC has prepared a list of 1,280 accident spots across the state and given it to the Public Works Department to take necessary steps and has also organised camps to keep drivers stress-free.