Pune RTO to start verifying private tour bus operations


Following Saturday’s accident near Nandura naka, Nashik, at around 5:15 a.m., when a private tourist bus caught fire after colliding with a truck carrying coal, killing 12 passengers and injuring 40 others, the Regional Office Pune Transport Authority (RTO) has now decided to start a special drive to check all tourist bus operations ahead of Diwali festival. The Pune RTO will form special teams to keep tabs on passenger seating capacity and fares, among other things.

In Saturday’s crash, the private tourist sleeper coach was found to be carrying 53 passengers, including the driver and assistant, compared to its actual capacity of 30 passengers and the extra passengers may be boarded the bus en route to Mumbai after leaving Yavatmal. Primary investigation revealed several additional passengers traveling on the bus, although only 30 seats had been reserved at the time of booking.

Ajit Shinde, Regional Transport Manager for Pune, said: “It was an unfortunate accident in which people lost their lives and as the Diwali festival approaches, many people will be traveling with these private tourist buses from Pune. Hence, we decided to start checking all these private tour buses departing and returning to Pune from all parts of the state. Mainly, the actual number of passengers, security arrangements and whether fares are in line with state government instructions will be checked.

“On Monday, we will hold a meeting about the same. We will form special squads of RTO inspectors to make this journey between the tourist bus pick-up and drop-off points across the city. Our appeal to the public is to travel safely and file a complaint with the RTO if faced with an issue related to increased fares, safety or passenger overloading,” Shinde said.

Santosh Kamble, a citizen, said, “During the holiday season, private tour bus fares are doubled on some routes, and ordinary people cannot afford it. I often travel to Beed, my home town, for festivals and even this time we travel to Beed by MSRTC bus if we get a reservation, otherwise we will have to rely on private buses. There should be some control over the rising fares of these buses while people are traveling as they have no other option.


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