Days after an improvised explosive device (IED) was found in a state transport bus in Raigad, state Transport Minister Diwakar Raote on Monday said the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has issued a circular warning its drivers and conductors not to engage in illegal transportation of parcels. A similar warning, Raote said, has also been issued to private bus operators.
On Monday, Raote held a high-level meeting with officials of MSRTC, associations of private bus transporters and school buses. Minister of State (Home) Ranjit Patil and senior bureaucrats from the transport department were also present at the meeting.
“The MSRTC has issued a circular stating that its drivers and conductors should not engage in any illegal transportation of parcels. Strict action would be taken against any official found involved in illegal transportation,” Raote said. “For the first offense, an official would be transferred, However, if caught the second time, the official would be dismissed from service,” he added.
The minister said that private bus transporters have also been asked to take appropriate security measures. “They should not indulge in any illegal transportation of couriers, parcels or luggage. If found flouting norms, licences of such private buses will be suspended immediately and the bus will be seized on the spot,” he said.
On Wednesday, an IED was recovered from a bag in a state transport bus plying between Karjat and Apta in Raigad. It was defused by the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) on Thursday.
Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil said the home and transport departments need to work together. “A standard operating procedure should be issued for the drivers and conductors on what should be done during emergencies,” he said.