Chennai: With the death of a 23-year-old MBA student, who was run over by a city bus in Chromepet on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) fleet has claimed its 60th victim this year. In other words, MTC buses have killed six persons every 32 days a little over the last six months.
Incidentally, MTC buses had claimed over 100 lives in 2011. Till June last year, 53 persons were killed by the city buses. Data available with City Express shows that as many as 51 persons were killed by MTC buses between January and May 2010, while 47 persons died in accidents involving MTC buses during the corresponding period in 2009. Besides, hundreds have suffered both simple and grievous injuries every year in road accidents involving MTC buses.
Though the figures are alarming, official sources claimed that MTC buses were involved in a fewer number of fatal accidents when compared to those of other transport corporations in the State. “MTC buses are involved in minimum number of fatal accidents, perhaps the least, despite its larger fleet strength,” an MTC official said.
Pointing out that buses of another transport corporation, which operates long distance services were involved in the maximum number of fatal accidents this year despite having a lesser fleet strength, the official said, “It is not true that the MTC, with 3,497 buses, is involved in higher number of accidents.” Given the vehicle density in the city, MTC buses have fared well on the road , he added.
When asked about the steps taken to prevent recurrence of accidents involving MTC buses, official sources stated that several initiatives had been taken in this regard. “For instance, each crew member is trained in yoga once in a year. This apart, the driving skills of the crew members are put under rigorous test such as steering control training within a specified compound, driving theory class and simulator training. In fact, they are being also trained in night time driving,” the sources added.