28 August 2006


I guarantee if you weren't nervous travelling by bus in Tamil Nadu before, by the time you finish reading this, you will be terrified! It so happens that there is an acute shortage of bus tyres in the Villupuram division of the State Transport Corporation in the Tiruvannamalai district.

Apparently out of roughly 350 State Transport Corporation buses operating, as many as 90 buses have been dormant for the last two months because they did not have wheels.

The situation has occurred due to the Corporation's norm, which bars authorities from purchasing tyres according to local requirements. Thus tyres have to run for up to 160,000 kilometres.

Trade unions, agree they could attain this target but are pressing officials to encourage the State Corporation to equip Branches with the requisite amount of tyres to ensure buses run on schedule and there is no undue delays in services.

To maintain an official record that no bus stands in the depot for more than a week for want of tyres, buses have their tyres removed on rotation to provide tyres to those which have been without tyres for a week.

Union representatives state that labourers are often forced to remove tyres by employing unsafe methods like stationing bus tyres on wheel drums, which could easily cause the bus to lose balance and roll over onto any hapless worker working nearby. Whoops!


Sharon, Tallahasse, Florida said...

Cancel my bus ticket, I want to go by taxi. Help.

Divyakka said...

Gosh I never thought that such things existed! I just naturally thought that buses ran forever until the tires all died away. Also that no buses had shock absorbers. And all roads of course are littered with pot holes. Gee, I guess I am lucky to be in one piece, after hundreds of bus journey during my 21 years in India!

Arunachala Living said...

Yes considering how many hours you spent on buses here, you are lucky never to have been involved in any of the many mishaps. And where exactly do they find such wild drivers for the buses?

Divyakka said...

The bus drivers are full of male ego - they are forever engaged in a game of "chicken" with oncoming traffic. Hmm come to think of it, here in California every day I notice tons of drivers who swerve in and out of traffic dangerously, trying to get ahead (though they only arrive at their destination seconds before others). Showing power while driving is some sort of ego trip - no matter what the country!