It was 1 November when Mounica G, a student of the Avanti Degree & PG College in Hyderabad, met with an accident at the Dilsukhnagar bus stop: She slipped from the footboard of a bus.
After spending almost a month in several hospitals for treatment, the 17-year-old succumbed to her injuries on 30 November.
Mounica’s friends and the city-based Relief Riders cycling group on 18 December paid tribute to her through a candlelight vigil.
At the same time, they demanded that the state government increase the number of buses three times in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) says that 290 people died from road accidents in 2021 in Hyderabad, compared to 330 in the previous year.
As per sources, Mounica, the daughter of daily wage worker Gokka Shankar Rao, sustained injuries on her left leg while travelling in a crowded bus.
Then she was run over by the rear wheel of the bus, which left her with crippling injuries.
A resident of the Rangareddy district, Mounica reportedly died of a post-operative infection at Hyderabad’s Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS). Her parents could not afford to get her treated at private health facilities.
However, Santhana Selvan of the Relief Riders group also viewed the insufficient number of buses on her route as the reason for her death.
“Only two buses were plying on her route between Mazidpur and Dilsukhnagar. As the college has a mandatory rule of 75 percent attendance, she had to go regularly to go college,” he told South First.
‘Increase buses from 3,000 to 10,000’
The death of Mounica reignited the Avanthi College students’ demand for an increase in the number of buses during peak hours, and an ex gratia of ₹50 lakh for her family.
Selvan claimed that amid the protests the TSRTC moved up the number of buses to six on the particular route.
However, the residents appealed to the government to increase the number of public-transportation buses across the city.
Quoting RTI activist GSR Chaitanya, Selvan claimed that right now around 3,000 buses are on the road, they said it should be around 10,000 buses.
“This will help schoolchildren, colleges student, and other commuters as most of the people in the city could not afford personal transportation. They rely on public transport, especially buses. So the authorities need to increase the number of buses” Venkata Rama Rao, another member of the Relief Riders group, told South First.
Deaths due to road accidents
As per the NCRB data, Hyderabad is ranked eighth, when it comes to deaths due to negligence related to road accidents, among the listed 19 metropolitan cities across India.
In Telangana, 8,318 deaths due to negligence related to road accidents were reported in 2021, as compared to 7,226 in 2020.
Among the five south Indian states, it was ranked third behind Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, respectively, for deaths due to road accidents.