The judiciary case of the May 2013 Soreze NTC bus accident is still ongoing. The Chief Engineer of the National Transport Corporation (NTC) had previously argued that the driver of the bus, who lost his life in the accident, was not responsible enough to have verified the braking system of the bus. Others from NTC have testified as well. Recently, it was the Senior Technical and Mechanical Officer who was questioned in court.
Yesterday, the 17th of July, Devdas Gujahur, the Senior Technical and Mechanical Officer of the NTC, appeared in court for the 2013 Soreze accident. He was questioned by the Director of Public Prosecution as to the maintenance of the NTC buses.
According to him, the best method to ensure that the braking system is functioning properly is by lending an attentive ear to the machine. He stated that in case a driver were to report some air leak in the braking system, the mechanics use their sense of hearing to detect anything. NCT drivers are expected to make a visual inspection of quarter an hour every morning before driving the buses along the streets. In case they hear suspicious sounds coming from the bus, they report the case to the mechanics. If they do not hear anything suspicious, the Workshop Supervisor does the same thing: he listens to any noise that could herald some defect in the braking system.
Thereafter, the Senior Technical and Mechanical Officer decides whether or not to carry a further inspection, based on the information received from the people who ‘attempted to hear’ the gas leaks, if any. Devdas Gujadhur claimed that they have been adhering to this method since ten years now having concluded that it is effective.
How effective, though? Ashok Leyland, the manufacturer of the Blueline buses, on the other hand, speaks of a more professional way of detecting air leaks. He recommends the usage of a soapy solution to detect subsequent leaks of air in the braking system of the buses. Why is this method not used then? Devdas Gujadhur retaliated that it would be time-consuming to use the solution on all tubes which are many in number; too many according to him. He maintained that hearing out for flaws is more effective.
The Director of Public Prosecutions questioned the effectiveness of such a method. Devdas Gujadhur still did not relent. He further stated that if one is deaf, he simply does not have to work as bus drivers! As simple as that. However, when questioned about the case reported by the dead driver, Deepchand Gunness, two years before, in 2012, when the latter explained that he had a minor accident on the 14th of December 2012 because of some flaw in the braking system, Devdas Gujadhur argued that in case the braking system with double valves do not function, no accident is supposed to result thereof.
The magistrate, Ida Dooky, questioned the incoherence of the claims of Devdas Gujadhur, who finally could not argue anymore.
The court will now be resumed on the 21st of July. Devdas Gujadhur will have to appear in court again.