Several passengers had a lucky escape in Pudukkottai district when two buses collided head on. And again the temporary driver was reportedly at fault.
With Pongal season around the corner, Dasaradha is worried how he will travel to Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district to celebrate the festival with his family. He said, "We have advanced our travel by a day to avoid rush. But there are hardly any buses. And those that are available don't seem to be safe with all these temporary drivers."
A senior officer told NDTV, "We are concerned about public safety. That's why we allow only those with heavy vehicle licences to drive."
The officer added, "We incur a loss of Rs. 9 crore every day as we've not hiked tariff for years. We offer the cheapest travel compared to neighbouring states. The hike we've offered alone will cost an additional Rs. 1,000 crore a year."
With both sides unwilling to blink first, the state transport department hasn't started bookings to handle Pongal rush as the government wouldn't want to risk passenger safety by letting its fleet of 22,000 buses in the hands of temporary drivers.