[Video]Tamil Nadu Bus Driver Suspended For Uploading Video Exposing Substandard Condition Of Buses
On October 4, a bus driver working with the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) for the last 12 years was suspended for pointing out poor condition of the government-run buses in the state. The driver, Vijayakumar recorded a video in which he lamented about the substandard condition of his bus and how it was affecting his work. As soon as the video went viral, he was suspended from the job with the reason that he was driving while making the video.
In the video, which surfaced on the internet, Vijayakumar was seen complaining about the brakes of the bus and also about the driver seat window shutter. He spoke of how the shutter attached to the window next to him did not cover it completely, which often leads to rainwater flowing inside the bus causing discomfort to him while driving. He also mentioned that last week his bus met with an accident because the brakes of the bus did not work properly.
“Last week I met with an accident when a two-wheeler suddenly come in front of the bus. When I applied the brakes, the bus did not completely stop, and only four weels of the bus stopped. The accident wouldn’t have taken place if the bus would have been in a better condition,” he said to The Logical Indian source. While talking about the shutter window, he said that while he was driving from Trichy to Palani, it kept raining through the entire journey and the rainwater kept coming inside, which proved to be a distraction for him while driving. He says that the shutter window is the same for most of the passenger windows as well.
He alleged that he informed the Palani depot authorities about the poor condition of the bus, but nobody in the department paid attention to these things.
Vijay, while finishing the video he also said that he hopes that the higher authorities will look into the situation immediately.
Driver Suspended from his duty
Soon after the video went viral on the social media, instead of taking the cognisance of the matter, the officials suspended him on account of ‘making derogatory remarks against TNSTC on WhatsApp while he was driving the bus. The suspension letter came on Monday, signed by the General Manager of TNSTC (Palani). The letter stated that Vijay’s act was a serious offence and that he is suspended from job effective from October 8, until the time of the investigation.
While speaking to The News Minute, he said, “Every time I face a problem with the bus I operate, I make an entry in my log sheet. But so far, no action has been taken to repair or maintain the buses. Even in that video, I had reached the Palani bus stand when I decided to talk about this, and my friend shot it on his mobile phone.”
He says that it is not the first time when he is discouraged from raising the alarm. He said that four years ago the state transport department, TNSTC had upheld his increment when he said that he would not be able to operate the bus as it is not maintained properly. He added that because his multiple complains were neglected over the years he ended up talking about the problem on the camera.
He also said that after the accident took place the officers who came to the Chatrapatti police station in Tamil Nadu to see him, eventually ended up blaming him for the accident even though he told them that it was not his fault.
“If anybody had examined the state of the tyres and the tyre marks on the road, they will know that it was the bus that was in a bad condition and that I had done my best to avoid an accident,” he said.
The Logical Indian tried reaching out to the TNSTC officials but no did not get any response.
The Logical Indian Take
Even after Vijay’s repeated complaints the Tamil Nadu State Transport (TNSTC) did not pay attention to the problem. Instead on several occasions, he was wholly demoralised for even speaking about the poor infrastructure of buses. Even when Vijay posted a video the officials instead of rectifying the issues suspending him for making a video while driving. However, in the video, it is visible the bus is stationary still he is asked to step down.
Almost every day there is at least one accident news in the headlines, but we instead blame the driver of the bus or some external factors for the mishaps. It is time our officials should order for a check on the transport system as well.