Bus blaze victims’ kin may get `5-70 lakh insurance payment

Highlights

Bus Blaze Victims’ Kin May Get `5-70 Lakh Insurance Payment, State Transport Department. Aiming to tighten the noose around the private operators who have been flouting rules with impunity, the State Transport Department has decided to carry out inspections all through the year.

  • RTA inspections to be a daily affair, says Botcha
  • 100 new services to be introduced on busy routes
  • 600 vacancies in Transport wing to be filled soon

Aiming to tighten the noose around the private operators who have been flouting rules with impunity, the State Transport Department has decided to carry out inspections all through the year.

This decision comes after massive seizures of 346 private buses during the raids that were conducted across the State, following the Volvo Bus fire incident that claimed 45 lives, in Mahabubnagar district recently.

Announcing stringent measures at a press meet held at the Secretariat on Wednesday, Transport Minister Botcha Satyanarayana said that several steps were being taken to ensure that private carriers strictly follow the Road Transport Authority (RTA) guidelines.

Forty-one bodies, out of the 45 killed in the mishap were identified, he said. According to the Minister, the kin of the deceased passengers may get insurance payments, ranging between Rs five lakh and Rs 70 lakh, based on their profiles.

The government was holding talks with insurance companies on this issue, he said.

Botcha said that owner of the ill-fated bus, Diwakar Road Lines would be taken to task for the tragic mishap.

The Transport Department was only concerned with the owner and not the operator, he said. The Minister said that the police would be asked to take suitable action against the owner, once the inquiry report was ready.

The Minister said the State-run Road Transport Corporation was planning to introduce safety norms on all the Volvo services as demonstrated in aircrafts to familiarise passengers on safety aspects, including emergency exits and tips on how to use them.

He said talks were held with the representatives of Volvo Company in this regard.

Besides a CBCID enquiry, the Central Government had ordered two different investigations, one by Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and National Automotive Testing and Research and Development infrastructure project into the Mahabubnagar tragedy, the minister stated.

He said the Corporation had decided to operate 100 new services from Hyderabad towards Benguluru, Mumbai, Nagpur, Vijayawada and other Coastal Andhra districts.

RTC losses touch `3,500 crore

Meanwhile, the Minister said that RTC’s accumulated losses touched `3,500 crore in the previous year and the debt in banks rose to Rs 4,260 crore. He pointed out that RTC fares were marginally hiked, without burdening the common man. This decision was inevitable in order to cope with the hike in fuel prices. RTC is expecting to garner Rs 450 crore annually from this decision, Botcha informed.

The Transport Minister informed about government’s plans to fill over 600 vacancies in the department in the coming months.

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