No breathalysers at PMPML depots!
A driver was arrested on Sunday for drunk driving, thus risking lives of commuters
Pune: It is shocking that the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd (PMPML) depots do not have breathalysers to check whether drivers are drunk or not while reporting to work. On Sunday, a driver was caught for drunk driving thus posing danger to PMPML passengers and other commuters on the road.
Around 1.30 pm on Sunday, this driver took the bus from the Kothrud depot and moved towards Katraj via Deccan Gymkhana. Driver Chandrashekhar Ahirrao (38) was on his second trip from Katraj to Kothrud. He was heavily drunk and was driving rashly. On two occasions, he missed hitting other vehicles. The conductor and passengers forced him to stop the bus and the police were called.
Sources from PMPML said the bus belongs to private contractor Mahalakshmi Transport. Their drivers have not been trained to run a bus. Also, the PMPML administration has no details about the drivers hired by the contractors. These drivers merely possess a licence and the badge to run a bus. However, the driver was dismissed from service following the incident. “The PMPML administration hires drivers after the contractors provide their details,” said sources.
“Buses are parked at the depot while the bus key is handed over to a driver. The depot manager makes sure that the driver is fit to run the bus. In the Sunday incident, the driver came back heavily drunk to Kothrud depot. The depot has no breathalyser. It is mandatory to have one at all depots,” said the sources.
The sources also added that details about the driver such as the licence and badge numbers, the experience of driving, his past record is provided by the contractor to the PMPML depot manager.
These details need to be verified by the contractors. If any details are hidden by a contractor from the administration, action is taken against the contractor. Sometimes, drivers hired by the public transport utility are fresh recruits and the PMPML provides them with basic training.
“The drivers hired by the PMPML are regularly trained. Details about the drivers are available at the headquarters. However, the contractors do not provide such training to drivers. Training is an essential part of the induction of drivers,” said a senior official.
Who is at fault?
Sources from PMPML said buses are parked at the depot while the bus key is handed over to a driver. The depot manager makes sure that the driver is fit to run the bus. In the Sunday incident, the driver came heavily drunk to Kothrud depot. The depot has no breathalyser. It is mandatory to have one at all depots. However, the driver was dismissed from service after the incident.