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High Court raps Himahcal for bus accidents

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chamba-bus-accidentThe Himachal Pradesh High Court  has issued notices to the  state government  and Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) the issue of several bus accidents being reported from all over the State for the last few months.

A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary passed these orders on a petition filed by  Ajay Sipahiya & others from Solan.

Treating the petition as Public Interest Litigation, the Court directed the government to file reply within a week and apprise the Court on the steps taken by it to prevent occurrences of vehicular accidents.

The petitioners cited various newspapers reports alleging that in the year 2014 itself, 557 persons have been killed and 2612 injured in 1422 accidents reported upto June 30 and there are 3100 Drivers employed in HRTC to run 2000 HRTC buses i.e. merely 3 drivers for 2 buses on average and some of them are suffering from medical complications.

More than 300 old HRTC buses are plying on the roads endangering the lives of the commuters as well as other road users.  They also alleged that Private buses are indulging in reckless driving without trained and expert drivers posing constant threat to the life of commuters and others. They alleged that the sole motive of the private bus owners is profit maximization, which they achieve by avoidance of expenditure on maintenance of bus and installation of safety equipments, overcrowding, overspeeding and engagement of untrained drivers etc. They also said that the State govt. have not demonstrated any concrete steps to prevent accidents taking place in the State.

The Court also directed the government to explore possibilities of creation of the posts of Mobile Traffic Magistrate in each District and Special Mobile Traffic Magistrate in Shimla and Dharamshala in order to prevent reckless driving and avoid traffic accidents by conducting traffic checking and spot trials within their jurisdiction.

The Court posted the matter for September 17.

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