Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 14 (BPNS)
To address the rash driving of private buses in the state, it has been decided to install CCTV cameras inside the buses. In a meeting convened by transport minister Antony Raju at Kochi on Tuesday, it was decided to direct the private buses to install two CCTV cameras inside. The direction will have to comply with in February 28.
“The cameras will have to be fixed in such a way that the inside of the bus and the road will have to be visible. Half of the total amount incurred for fixing the cameras will be borne by the Kerala State Road Safety Authority,” said Antony.
According to him, the authority will soon release a guideline regarding camera installation.
“KSRTC buses will also be brought under the ambit of this (camera installation). State-level monitoring will also be conducted through Vehicle Location Tracking Device. Also, a special monitoring charge will be given to some officers of the Motor Vehicles Department to watch the operation of private buses,” added Antony.
The minister also added that a revenue-sharing model has been submitted to the owners of the private buses.
“A plan is there to form a cluster of private buses that ply on the same route. Revenue generated from that route could be shared among them. This proposal has been presented before the bus owners. They had been asked to provide feedback,” said Antony.
The high-level meeting has come against the backdrop of the recent incident in which a 50-year-old motorist got killed after getting hit by a speeding private bus. The incident was reported from Ernakulam.
The Kerala High Court then took a suo motu after amicus curiae Vinod Bhat brought the incident to the notice of the court.
Justice Devan Ramachandran then observed that ‘Their (drivers) recklessness and the abject disdain for even orders of this Court are now so glaring, that it cannot lose sight of.’
The court had also summoned the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Kochi city, to be personally present ‘to interact with him.’
The officer then informed the court that the accident could have been easily averted if the bus driver had been more careful.
According to him, the drivers are still obdurately very negligent and rash; hence that certain additional instructions have been now given including that none of the buses will be allowed to overtake within the lane; and that they will have to maintain the left one consistently.
” An instruction has also been given to ensure that all the buses maintain the speed limit within the city, namely, 35 kms per hour, without blaring horns and with the pneumatic doors kept closed during the journey,” said the officer.
Meanwhile, the senior government pleader informed the court that even though the police officers are taking action in earnest, some sections of the drivers/owners – who are, in fact, vested interests – have now threatened to engage in disruptive activities, including strikes.
To this, the court directed the police to ensure that all the efforts and measures are put into operation from now on, without any reservation; and not to be
constrained by any disruptive forces – including threats of actions like strikes etc.
The court then said that it will again consider the matter on February 23. And directed the senior government pleader to place on record the action report of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in this regard.