MSRTC tightens noose on safety clearance post Shivshahi bus accident at Katraj ghat
Pune: The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) Pune office has ordered all four contractors running semi-luxury Shivshahi buses under the Pune division to carry out mechanical fitness test of buses and automatic track driving test of drivers, post the Monday’s Shivshahi bus accident at Katraj ghat near Shindewadi.
Two passengers were killed while 25 others were injured after a Shivshahi bus overturned near Shindewadi on Satara road on November 25. Shivshahi buses will be allowed to hit the road only after submitting the report of both these tests, according to an MSRTC official.
“The bus that met with the accident was rental and had passed the mechanical fitness test. According to our primary reports, there was no technical issue that could have caused the accident. We have given strict instructions to depot managers to check all Shivshahi rental buses before sending them on routes. If a bus is rendered unfit, another bus should be sent from the additional fleet of buses at Swargate and Shivajinagar,” said Yamini Joshi, Pune divisional controller, MSRTC.
According to MSRTC officials, at least 1,075 accidents involving Shivshahi buses have taken place, claiming 50 people and leaving 367 injured, between 2017 and 2019 across Maharashtra.
Pune division has a total of 101 Shivshahi buses taken from four contractors. These buses mainly run on Nashik, Aurangabad, Kolhapur, Shirdi and Mahabaleshwar routes. “We have informed all our contractors to conduct the two tests. Just like police, we have also lodged our internal first information report (FIR) and the investigation of the accident has been initiated. Detailed report will arrive in a week’s time after which we will be able to determine the cause of the accident,” said Joshi.
“It is an ‘S’ shape stretch and a dangerous spot for vehicles and there are no proper cement barricades or glow signage boards indicating the sharp turns. We have a list of black spots for the division and will be adding this spot also. We will write to the state public works department to carry out a survey of the spot and repair and install necessary signage boards here,” said Joshi.
The semi-luxury fleet
Total no of Shivshahi buses in Maharashtra: 1,000
Around 50% of them operated by private contractors
Shivshahi buses Pune division: 101
All of them owned by private contractors
Most of them ply from Swargate and Shivajinagar depots