Twelve pilgrims sustained minor injuries when the electric bus belonging to the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) in which they were travelling met with an accident on the second ghat road leading to Tirupati on May 24 (Wednesday).
The steering wheel of the bus reportedly got locked at the 28th curve on the ghat road and the vehicle hit the crash barriers. All the injured were rushed to the Balaji Institute of Surgery, Research and Rehabilitation for the Disabled (BIRRD) hospital being run by the Tirumala Torupati Devasthanams (TTD).
TTD Executive Officer A.V. Dharma Reddy rushed to the spot and supervised the rescue operations. He ordered free transportation of the pilgrims to their native places. He ordered an inquiry into the accident.
Meanwhile, the APSRTC constituted a committee to ascertain the root cause of the accident.
In a statement on Wednesday, APSRTC Executive Director (Operations) K. S. Brahmananda Reddy said that the committee comprises the Chief Traffic Manager (Operations) (convener) and Chief Mechanical Engineer (Maintenance), DPTO/Chittoor and a representative of M/S Evey Trans (JAB) Private Limited, the company which supplies drivers to the APSRTC to run the electric vehicles.
The committee members will also study the criteria for the selection of drivers to operate buses on ghat roads, their training need, testing procedures and accident prevention measures. It will submit a detailed report at the earliest, said Mr. Brahmananda Reddy.
He said that 100 electric buses had been allotted to operate between Tirupati and Tirumala ghat road. The buses are supplied by M/S Olectra Private Limited.
He said the drivers were given sufficient hands-on training on the Tirumala-Tirupati ghat road and they were being sent for duty only after passing the eligibility test conducted by a committee comprising Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer and Deputy Chief Traffic Manager.