Chennai: A day after an overspeeding MTC bus plunged into the service road off Anna Flyover, the Chennai City Traffic Police have arrested the bus driver on Thursday. Police said driver Prashant, of bus route 17M from Broadway to Vadapalani, was arrested under three sections of IPC. No case was registered against conductor Hemanth Kumar as he was not at fault, police said. Police also said that cyber crime sleuths were investigating if the driver was talking on his mobile phone while driving. If proved, additional charges would be made while preparing the charge-sheet.
Meanwhile, a day before the Anna Flyover accident, a public carrier collided with a bus in Tambaram, killing one person. However, the blame game that followed that accident was more dramatic. Though the accident was a clear case of brake-failure, authorities are attempting to pass the blame onto the driver by obtaining certificates to prove that the brake-system was functioning properly, M Chandran, president, State Transport Employees Union affiliated with CITU, charged. Poor maintenance of the fleet is the reason behind such accidents, he added.
According to sources, even though MTC is increasing its fleet strength, the number of technicians responsible for repairing vehicles are reducing. A technician who would handle only 10 buses a day 10 years ago, is now burdened with more than 35 vehicles daily, Chandran said.
MTC operates 3,400 buses in different parts of Chennai and its adjoining districts with a work force of about 21,000 employees. An MTC driver plying on Broadway-Anna Nagar route claimed that defects reported by the crew are not rectified immediately. When contacted, a senior MTC official maintained that brake-failure was not the reason behind the accident in Tambaram. It was negligence on part of the driver, he stated.