Mangaluru: KSRTC Buses Haul Commercial Luggage Illegally- What if these Packages contain Explosives?

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Mangaluru: On Thursday I had boarded KSRTC-Airavat Multi-Axle Volvo bus bearing registration number KA57F220 on my trip from Mangaluru to Bengaluru, which nearly took 10 hours since the route was diverted due to the closure of Shiradi Ghat. To keep myself occupied during this hectic journey, I had brought two newspapers- Times of India and Deccan Herald. Among the many news in Deccan Herald, there was one article about private/KSRTC buses hauling commercial luggage when they are not suppose to do so- the article “On commercial luggage, transport dept ‘loaded against’ private buses’ dated January 8 revealed that “Even as the Transport department is cracking the whip on private buses for carrying commercial goods in violation of rules, the State-run buses appear to have been let off the hook for the same offence”.


The report said that the department had seized around 70 private buses for violations and most of these were found to be carrying commercial goods illegally. However a large number of KSRTC luxury buses that ply, also violate the same rules as the private ones. Many private buses get caught immediately as most of the commercial luggage are carried atop the bus or inside it, which is easily noticeable. But the KSRTC luxury buses, it is said, carry commercial goods in the side boot which is much spacious. This is a common practice for luxury buses to carry commercial luggage in the boot, which does not attract the attention of the Transport department officials easily.

The report also said that commercial goods are loaded into the boot of the bus first and then the luggage of the passengers. Transport department officials say that rules are the same for everyone, whether it is private bus operators or State-run buses. Everyone is equal in the eyes of law. In the past several cases have been booked against KSRTC buses as well for such violations. As a matter of fact, no commercial luggage is allowed in any passenger bus. The report also revealed that there are provisions in the law under which companies can book parcel weighing up to 500 kg, which can be carried. Over and above the permissible limit, checking is done at the time of booking the luggage. But KSRTC, it is said, has no mechanism to verify whether the parcel weight that is booked is the one that is loaded.

Having read the report in DH, when the Airavat bus stopped at Kushalnagar at around 2.15pm, I got down to have coffee and snacks. While I was alighting I saw few guys loading some packages and plywood sheets into the boot (luggage compartment) of the bus. Having just read about the transport of commercial luggage by buses, I inquired the conductor how come that they allowing commercial luggage along with passengers luggage- for which he ignored and just walked away.

Even after there had been couple of bus fires where people have lost lives, it is surprising that the bus authorities still carry commercial luggage, without bothering to check what contents the luggage/packages contain. Through this report I want to bring to the notice of the KSRTC authorities to look into this matter, and see that no commercial luggage is allowed in the boot of the bus, unless they are sure what the luggage contents are. With all these bus fires, bomb blasts and terror attacks, it is advisable that the bus authorities strictly prohibit hauling commercial goods in their vehicles in the interest of the safety of the passengers. And I kindly request the passengers if they see the bus staff allowing commercial luggage, they should stop it or inform the concerned people of KSRTC department. Thereby problems and security concerns solved.

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