The sight of an abandoned broken-down bus, decorated with tree branches, is not rare in the city. The ensuing traffic jams that these broken-down buses create are also not new and alarmingly, these bus break-down incidents are on a steady rise.
Latest figures compiled by city traffic police show that while about 1,500 buses broke-down on roads in the year 2011, compared to 740 breakdowns the previous year. In the event of a bus break-down it is not just the passengers of the bus who face the problems, the motorists and in turn traffic police personnel are also forced to tackle severe issues.
“A bus break-down invariably happens in the middle of a road. One can well imagine the chaos if it happens on a busy road and during peak hours,” a senior police official said. “Clearing a traffic jam, created by a bus break-down usually takes a few hours,” he said.
But why are the buses breaking down in the first place? “Most buses in the city were lying idle during the Telangana strike period and increase in the incidents of bus break-downs in mainly because of this reason,” a RTC official said.
“Without proper maintenance any vehicle will break-down and for RTC buses a combination of factors like lack of maintenance for more than one month and bad road conditions resulted in an increase in break-downs,” he said.
About allegations that APSRTC runs old buses, the official said that though the chassis of a bus is old its engine is replaced at the end of its life period.
“Most buses break-down because of a failure in transmission system. With heavy traffic, a driver is forced to use clutch more often, resulting in increased wear and tear of the clutch plates and related equipment.
We are concentrating on the maintenance of our buses and as a result the number of bus breakdowns came down significantly in last one month,” he claimed.
With more than 150 breakdowns in the last two years the Musheerabad, Barkatpura and Midhani depots takes the pole position on the infamous list of depots with maximum breakdowns.