May 22, 2012 3:30:45 am
A Brihanmumbai Electric Supply & Transport (BEST) undertaking bus on Monday rammed into the compound wall of Public Works Department minister Chhagan Bhujbals bungalow,injuring three passengers,including a senior citizen.
The bus was travelling on route number 121 from the Backbay Depot to J M Mehta Road when it smashed into the front gate of Ramtek,Bhujbals bungalow on Napean Sea Road around 12.15 pm. Bhujbal was unavailable for comment.
The Malabar Hill police arrested the driver,Haider Pathan (52). Senior police inspector Vinay Bagade said the driver was booked under Sections 279 (rash and negligent driving) and 337 (causing act endangering life) of the Indian Penal Code.
The three injured passengers Vasanti Sapkal (65),Diana Anthony (29) and Ramkumar Malla (18) were rushed to Nair Hospital. They suffered minor injuries to the nose and forehead. They were administered first aid before we noted their statements down, said Bagade. The driver said the steering wheel was locked. We are probing along those lines and further investigations are on.
BEST has not taken any immediate action against the driver as it is yet to ascertain whether it was the drivers fault or simply a technical glitch. The Regional Transport Office will inspect the bus for any technical problems,after which BEST will carry out its technical investigation. It will take at least a couple of days for us to come to a proper conclusion, said S M Karlekar,BEST assistant general manager. We may consider sending the driver for a training refresher to ensure that his mind is diverted from the accident and he isnt stressed.
BEST will reimburse the damage caused to Ramteks compound wall,Karlekar said,adding that the bus has been damaged substantially.
Sunil Ganacharya,a BEST committee member,said they need to step up maintenance of the buses to avoid such accidents. In the past few months,several employees with an engineering background have been transferred to the traffic department,and the engineering department which is in charge of maintenance is reeling under staff crunch. We cant just forget about todays incident saying it was a technical fault. There is a lot of scope for bettering the maintenance of our buses, he said.
Last month,a double-decker bus toppled at the Kalanagar junction while the driver was negotiating a turn,crushing a biker to death and injuring 29 people.
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