CHENNAI: If an audit of the number of MTC buses that witnessed clashes between college students is taken, it is sure to throw up astounding numbers. Numbers refer to threat faced by passengers and MTC staff who are collateral damage in the show of supremacy between college students. MTC routes, especially 25G, 27B, 15F, 15G, 15B, 46, 27H and 29C that wade through Pachaiyappa’s, Presidency and Nandanam arts college have witnessed many clashes that staff has lost count of the number of drivers and conductors who have been injured, property damaged.
Drivers and conductors who ply through the route say it is a nightmare every day, as one never knows when violence will break out. “It all starts with a gang of students who enter the bus and hide behind the seats waiting for the students of other colleges to enter. Within no time, one can witness a violent rampage of ferocity as they assault each other and start pelting stones at windows and windshield,” said one of the drivers at Broadway bus terminus.
If the MTC condemns their actions, they are bashed black and blue by students. In an incident about six months ago, when the driver drove to the police station, not only were the arrested students sanctioned a bail in a jiffy, but the MTC staff questioned for “exaggerating”, a staff said. However, the same driver was once again attacked the next day and issued memo by the MTC for being unable to “control” his passengers.
The employees rue that though the government runs MTC, the bus is considered the property of the driver and conductor forced to shell out bucks each time a windshield or a window is broken, which is like every day. “They hurl stones, sit on top of the buses and beat the staff of MTC in case of an objection. If you cannot take blows, you cannot be a driver on these routes as both the department and police render no help,” said a driver.