First–aid kits missing , BMTC commuters at risk


First aid kits are missing from Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses. This, despite several requests and warnings from the Corporation’s officials.

By Ritika Gondhalekar

Bangalore, March 20, 2018: If the BMTC bus you are travelling is involved in an accident, you might be in trouble. Most buses lack first aid kits and basic medicines.

Nearly 4.9 million people travel everyday in 6603 BMTC buses but only a few of these have first aid boxes with minimal medicines. Most of the rest have no first aid.

STThe Karnataka Motor Vehicle Rules make it mandatory for all BMTC buses to have fire extinguishers and first-aid kits.

Also, the need is to keep check on the medicines as there is no provision to replace the expired medicines. BMTC officials say they have already given the facilities for the BMTC buses but according to the bus drivers there has been no supply of the first aid kits by the BMTC.

There’s nothing much we can do “We don’t have any problem keeping first-aid kits  and medicines, but we should get the supply from BMTC authorities. We cannot afford to provide these facilities on our own,” complained Maruthi, a bus conductor, whose daily route is from Bidadi to Nayandahalli Metro Station (226 N).

However, Ganganna Gowda B C, BMTC, Chief Mechanical Officer (Management) said, “The delivery of first-aid boxes from our side is done regularly and on time. But in the middle of the year, the first aid boxes are destroyed by the commuters and there is no way we can control that. We are in the process of reinstating the boxes and it will be completed within two to three months.”

The commuters are also of the opinion that the first-aid kit and fire extinguishers should be made mandatory in all modes of transport-be it public or private. Apart from a few major accidents, including  one involving a school bus on Mysore Road, several minor incidents have also been reported.

Sayan Ghosh, who is a regular commuter to Majestic from Electronic City said, “I had once encountered the situation when I got injured while travelling to Majestic from my home. The bus driver braked suddenly and I hit my forehead to the pole in the bus. Though I was bleeding, but I had to stay like that till I got down and went to a nearby clinic. They should at least keep bandages and dettol and an antiseptic cream to give basic first aid in case of any emergency.”

Major accidents in the past have been reported where the absence of first-aid boxes and fire extinguishers has resulted in tragedy.