Young & Dynamic PG Engineering Woman Ms Megha Ranjith Pai (Alumni of Canara Engineering College – 2010 C S & E Graduate) Killed by a Rash Bus Driver for No Fault of Hers. Now the bus driver Sharan Kumara (35) has been arrested and produced before the Court and was remanded into judicial custody until 17 December 2022. The offence was considered seriously by the police and section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) is slapped against him as per the information provided by Mangaluru Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar
Mangaluru: It’s scary out there on the streets of Mangaluru, where reckless and speeding private and service buses with ruthless and ignorant drivers behind the wheels put commuters’/pedestrians’ lives in danger. The recent accident in which a speeding private bus moving in the wrong direction killed a young and dynamic PG Engineering woman has once again brought to light the poor traffic safety and the increasing violations by the drivers of private & Service buses. Presently, their self-proclaimed dominance over the busy city roads and highways has increased two-fold, where bus drivers that cross speed limits are a menace to the traffic and people walking on city streets.
We all know that the Private route buses are known for rash driving and the authorities remain mute spectators. The plight of road users continues to be risky, as they have to contend with private buses, who rule the roads violating all the road safety rules with impunity. Accidents involving private buses are on the rise, claiming the lives of innocent passengers and other road users. Many from the city are forced to abandon the single road stretches where the private route buses are notorious and they take up other roads for safety. Many travellers take alternative routes, even if they have to shell out extra fuel, to stay safe from these beasts.
Ms Megha Ranjit Pai (34), a Software Engineer
Recalling the accident which took place on 3 December 2022where Megha Ranjit Pai (34), a software engineer, lost her life as the private bus driven by Sharan mowed her down while crossing the road in front of Kottara Kallurti Daivasthana in the City. Megha, who was seriously injured in the accident, was rushed to a private hospital but succumbed to injuries on 6 December. The driver had driven the bus on the wrong side and knocked Ranjit Pai down. The offence was considered seriously by the police and section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) is slapped against him as per the information provided by city police commissioner N Shashi Kumar. Now the police have arrested Sharan Kumara (35) who was produced in court and the court sent him to judicial custody till 17 December 2022.
One of Megha’s friends had posted the following on social media and had also forwarded it to Mangalorean.com :
Dear Mangaloreans, a young dynamic engineering youth of Mangalore who aspired to dream big post-graduation was killed by a local bus for no fault of hers. She was walking as a pedestrian towards her mother’s house when a local city bus which deliberately skipped the lane and came on the wrong side just for the greed to be beyond the scheduled time hit the innocent pedestrian and left her grievously injured and suffering to death. I demand the #MangaloreCityPolice to take the strictest action against such arrogant drivers who follow the system of timings and break rules thereby risking the lives of innocent road users.
I lost my friend Megha Ranjith Pai due to no mistake of hers. A husband has lost his wife; A brother has lost his sister, and A mother has lost her beloved daughter. Let’s not give another chance to lose our loved ones to these arrogant bus drivers who challenge the time. I request and demand MLA’s Vedavyas Kamath and Bharath Shetty to make a change of the system and more safety to road users”.
Bus drivers have caused havoc in the city with their high-handed attitude, with no respect either for traffic rules or for the police, let alone fellow commuters. They have been known to intimidate other commuters with their incessant, unreasonable honking, and for pedestrians, they are a constant nuisance. This young engineer is not the first victim of speeding buses, and if stringent measures are not taken immediately, they may not be the last ones either. A citizen speaking to Team Mangalorean said, ” Rash driving by the private route bus drivers is not something new, and they do not respect the road rules and overtake at narrow stretches posing a risk to others’ lives. They make their routes, drive rashly and don’t care about other road users. I have had narrow escapes many times, as the private bus drivers overtake at narrow stretches risking the lives of those travelling in the opposite direction. From the way they drive, their statement is clear – either get out of the road with your life or face the consequence”.
Road users say that it is high time the authorities crack the whip on these buses. It is not going to help in any way by punishing just the drivers. There should be a mechanism to deter bus owners. Not just the road users, the workers of road construction or MCC street cleaners are constantly facing threats during work hours. Both the private bus and government bus drivers do not slow down on seeing the people at work. The private buses are worse. When bad accidents happen due to the driver’s negligence and rash driving, the officials from the road transport department say that they have been taking action against such erring drivers and their licence would be suspended for three months in case of a fatal accident.
But nothing has stopped regarding the speeding and the unruly behaviour of private bus drivers. However, there is no provision in place to take action against transport service owners. If only the RTO and the Traffic Police Department were strict with road rules, policies and stringent fines, then only we could be safe walking or travelling on the City streets ruled by private and service buses.
Note: Bus accident photos for Illustration only