A month after a motorcyclist was crushed to death by a double-decker bus that overturned at Kherwadi junction in Bandra, the BrihanMumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has decided to put a cap on the maximum speed of buses.
Omprakash Singh, general manager, BEST, informed the Bombay high court on Monday that the speed of single-decker buses would be limited to 60 kmph and 40kmph for double-decker ones.
Singh told the court that the any traffic violations committed by their drivers would be considered serious service misconduct and heavy penalties would be imposed on such erring drivers.
Singh was responding to a notice issued by the high court in connection with a PIL filed by Bombay Bar Association seeking strict implementation of traffic rules in the city. The notice was issued after advocate Armine Vandrewala, who has filed an intervention application in the PIL, raised various issues about BEST drivers.
Claiming that the number of fatal accidents involving buses had come down, Singh said that last year about 4,000 drivers had been penalised for committing traffic violations.
Singh, however, admitted that breakdown of BEST buses on road had gone up from 40-60 per day to 120 due to addition of more than 1,000 buses in the fleet with no arrangement for maintenance.
Also present for the hearing was Vivek Phansalkar, joint commissioner of police, traffic. He admitted that nearly 40% CCTV cameras installed throughout Mumbai were not working due to lack maintenance.
He assured the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Niteen Jamdar that the issues pertaining to inadequacy of manpower and using advanced technology for better traffic management would be taken up on priority basis.
The state transport commissioner told the court in the past three years 19.4 lakh new vehicles had been registered across Maharashtra, taking the total number of vehicles to 1.94 crore.
He admitted there was problem in training imparted to drivers and because of inadequacy of manpower and infrastructure some of the bare minimum tests required to be done under Central Motor Vehicle Rules could not be conducted on persons seeking driving licences.