Chandigarh: Three deaths involving CTU buses put drivers’ skill under scrutiny

Three fatal accidents and one severely injured motorcyclist in the past month have raised concerns about the Chandigarh Transport Bus Drivers Training (CTU).

Pushpinder Singh Sidhu of Ludhiana fell from a moving bus near Shivalik Hotel, Sector 17 and later succumbed to injuries on 15 May. A motorcyclist, Ashu of Hallomagra, was killed after colliding with a CTU bus in Sector 47 on 1 June. Another cyclist, Ashish Kumar, died after being hit by a long-distance CTU bus near Dakshin Marg on June 21.

About 358 CTU buses operate locally and are driven by external drivers; Another 100 are classified as long-track buses and are driven by CTU permanent drivers. Two of the three fatal accidents occurred on local roads.

“We are very strict about our drivers being involved in road accidents. We have a policy of putting negligent drivers under suspension with immediate effect and ordering an administrative investigation against the person. We immediately replaced the outsourced driver involved in road accidents. In one recent fatal accident, we replaced the driver “If the driver is a permanent employee of the CTU, we do not allow him to drive the bus until the investigation is complete. Our procedures are separate from the criminal proceedings initiated by the local police,” said Praduman Singh, Director of Transportation.

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Road safety expert Harman Seydoux said, “There may be many reasons behind these road accidents. In fact, the negligence of drivers cannot be ruled out. There is a need to make drivers sensitive towards two-wheeled riders, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Chief Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Manisha Choudhury said: “Based on the analysis of fatal accidents involving the drivers of the Anti-Terrorism Unit, we are planning to hold a workshop for all the department’s bus drivers to educate them on the essential aspects of safe driving. We will coordinate with the Department of Transport in this regard.”

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