Maharashtra: MSRTC bans drivers from using mobile phones while operating buses


In a major decision, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) on Monday banned its drivers from using mobile phones while driving buses and warned of action, including suspension from service, against violators, an official said, reported the PTI.

In a circular issued during the day, the state-run entity said the ban covers drivers of buses of its fleet as well as those leased from private operators, and includes use of headphones and Bluetooth devices, as per the PTI.

The drivers have been asked to deposit their mobile phones with conductors or to keep them away in a bag in case of buses without conductors, the circular said.

The MSRTC directed its flying squads as well as teams from the security and vigilance departments to ensure the order is followed strictly and to submit reports to higher authorities about violations on the part of drivers, according to the PTI.

Issuing a release later in the day, the MSRTC said mobile phone usage to listen to songs, watching videos etc while operating buses was a dangerous act that disturbs concentration of drivers and spreads a sense of insecurity in the minds of passengers.

The release said the transporter had received numerous complaints against drivers from passengers and public representatives, with many of them airing their apprehensions on social media.

Officials have been asked to place drivers under suspension for violating the orders issued in the circular, the release added.

MSRTC has a fleet of 15,000 buses and ferries 60 lakh passengers every day.

Meanwhile, in an accident in Thane, a gas tanker overturned on the Mumbai-Nashik highway in the early hours of Monday near Shahapur town in Thane district of Maharashtra, officials said, reported the PTI.

According to the news agency, no one was injured in the incident, said Disaster Management Officer Sakib Kharbe.

The gas tanker was headed to Nashik in Maharashtra when it overturned near Dhagaon in Shahpur, around 55 km from Thane, as per the PTI.

Fire Brigade personnel rushed to the spot to ensure that gas was not leaked. Police personnel also joined them.

(with PTI inputs)

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