Chennai: About 50 passengers had a harrowing time in the middle of nowhere when their ‘brand-new’ bus broke down within ten minutes of taking off from Nagercoil for its scheduled trip to Tirunelveli early Saturday, reports reaching here said.
They said the vehicle was among the 515 buses inaugurated amid much fanfare by Chief Minister K.Palaniswami on July 3. The State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) allocated the bus to the Kanyakumari division along with 51 other news vehicles. The Nagercoil-Tirunelveli route alone was allotted 20 buses, sources said.
They said the bus that broke down in the morning had left the Nagercoil terminus at about 10.15 a.m. and would have covered about five km when it broke down near a village called Olunginaseri.
With the crew helpless in detecting the flaw, much less setting it right, the passengers became restless that a new bus had let them down so badly. “One of them was heard commenting that it was a bus with new body and old engine”, quipped an eyewitness.
When asked about the breakdown of a new bus, the SETC general manager Thiruvambalam Pillai of the Kanyakumari division said the problem was with the ‘sensor’ fitted in the bus and nothing else. “One cannot guarantee the functioning of an electronic gadget; these could fail anytime. We sent a team to rectify the problem within ten minutes”, he said.
SETC workers said no proper training was given to handle such new electronic gadgets as the ‘sensor’. “Had they trained us properly about these new devices, we would have been able to handle buses in a better manner, and attend to any fault in quick time”, said a SETC union functionary....